According to a Schools and Staffing Survey by the National Center for Education Statistics, the average start time for public schools is 8:00am. Many studies have shown that this very early start time has a negative effect on student performance and attentiveness. Early start times are a key contributor to a very common health problem among teens: sleep deprivation (National Sleep Foundation). Many scientists and researchers believe that a delay in the school start time will allow students to no longer be sleep deprived, and improve their performance in school. In order to insure the health and performance of students, the earliest start time for schools should be 8:30am.
While early school start times are not the only causes of sleep deprivation, they are something that can be changed to help eliminate its contribution to sleep deprivation. Later sleep and wake times are biological facts among adolescents (National Sleep Foundation). Meaning, that teenagers are programmed to go to bed late and wake up late. This is a problem, because students will still go to bed late, but can’t sleep in because of school start times. This makes it so that students don’t get the required 9 hours of sleep they need to be able to grow and develop. Starting school later would allow students to sleep and wake the way they are biologically programmed, allowing them to get the necessary amount of sleep.
Some researches have said that starting school later would negatively affect means of transportation and after school activities. A change in start times could impact the busing system and traffic for teachers and students going to and from school (National Sleep Foundation). However, there are solutions to this problem. Researchers have found that in some districts, the public bus system route is very similar to the school bus route, so older students could receive bus passes to take the public bus, eliminating the extra cost and time for busing. Also, traffic may increase, however, studies have shown that a later start time lessens the amount of drowsy drivers, which are the main cause of morning accidents (National Sleep Foundation). Many critics say that starting school later will make athletics have to compete for field time in because of the shorter amount of daylight hours, They also believe that students may have to leave school early in order to make it to a game, making them chose between athletics and academics. However, most districts that have changed their start times have experienced little problems with after school activities (National Sleep Foundation).
Students all across the globe are having trouble performing in school in part , by the effects of sleep deprivation. While there are many causes to sleep deprivation, making schools start at least 30 minutes later, can eliminate one of those causes. Schools that have started implementing later start times have seen improvements in their students’ performance, and have been able to deal with the problems they face with the changes. Overall, we have to keep in mind that the health and best interest of the younger generation will always be more important than the financial or functionality problems a school may have.Tags: ArgumentEssay ExposSquad Okemos High School
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