ASM 2014 – Should School Start Later?

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Would starting classes later benefit both students and teachers? Some students get up well before dawn just to make it to school on time. Would a later start time lead to higher performance?

About 86% of schools in the United States start school before 8:30 a.m. Jameel Rice says that’s too early for him.

“Every morning, I have to wake up at 6:15 a.m just to make to school on time. That is really early considering I go to bed around 11 p.m. because of homework, ” said Jameel Rice.

College Counselor Uriel Gonzalez isn’t sure the later start would translate to more sleep.

“I think earlier start times depends on a lot of factors. I think it depends on homework. It depends on the rigor of the school work. [I] think often high performing students will sacrifice sleep, as myself, will sacrifice sleep in order to get homework done,” Gonzalez said.

Though unsure about the translation of later start time to more sleep, Gonzalez recognizes the importance of sleep and agrees that students need a good nights rest every night.

“Sleep is is very important for your body to refresh. And that’s why we we worry about sleep because we need to refresh ourselves,” Gonzalez said.

Heise said he recently read a study about the effectiveness of starting the school day later.

“If you start the day like at 10 o’clock, that means you have to push out to like what, 6 o’clock at night. Something like that. And is that too much? Where we suddenly move to an area where there’s dangerous issues within the community that we have to worry about the health [and] safety of our students? I honesty don’t know,” Heise said.

Waking up at an early hour causes students to be sleepy in class.  Some students don’t even have the chance to eat breakfast because of their long commutes to school. But, would changing the start of the school day really make sense? Would students really take advantage of extra sleep time?

“I think that if they don’t have facebook, twitter, instagram students will able to take advantage of it,” Gonzalez said.

While the issue is about students, lets not forget about the commute of teachers and whether or not they themselves would benefit from a later start time.

Heise also questions whether or not teachers will actually take advantage of more sleep time.

“Teachers would definitely see a benefit from a later start time. Umm, i don’t know actually i think you have to take that back its on camera do what you will with it. Will we see a benefit i honestly don’t know um i’ll say this Garcia high school where i work, um we moved our start time earlier this year than it was in years past from 8:00 to 7:45 um, and the reason we did that was to help teachers manage the traffic issues related to getting from their houses to work every day and its actually been a humongous difference for teachers,” Heise said.

Heise feels that no matter how much or little sleep a students gets, what really counts in the end is the commitment of the teacher to the education of the students.

“In the end it’s not about what’s what’s best for the teachers but what’s best for the students,” Heise said.