Before researching my topic, regarding if school should start later, I didn’t have a strong opinion on whether or not it would make sense. I could see both sides of the argument. As a person who doesn’t wake up easily in the morning, I did feel a little tired in the morning. Especially my sophomore year with AP World, it was impossible to go to bed before 12 to feel ready for tests. So, that year was especially tough. So, I did want school to start later so I could get an extra hour of sleep. However, I also understand how parent’s schedules would be messed up. As someone who gets to school by a ride from my mother, if school were to start later, I would have no idea how to get to school. The bus doesn’t go through my neighborhood so that isn’t an option. I didn’t see the point of changing the school system which has been in effect for years. Sure, I was tired in the morning, but after I would feel fine. However, after researching, I now believe that school should start at least an hour later.

I wasn’t aware of what sleep deprivation could do to the body which include obesity, fatigues, mood swings, as well as contributing to many car crashes. I was also able to venture into how a teenager’s body operates. I found out that teenager’s naturally wake up around 9 in the morning because of circadian rhythms. As puberty hits, the sleep cycle of a teenager will shift around two hours later.  So, while critics may say that teenagers can just manage their time better which will allow to go to bed earlier so they are focused in the morning these rhythms say that it is very difficult for teenagers to sleep early. Even if teenagers do go to bed earlier, they will just lay awake in bed. Two hours will pass and then they’ll fall asleep. It just isn’t very natural for a teen body.

Research shows showing school later will also help students academically. Schools who have changed their time schedule show that standardized test scores go up, grades improve, there are less tardies, and students are more focused and happy to be in school. Grades really are the most important thing for students. It’s what qualifies them for elite colleges and guarantees them a good life in the future.

However, to refute this, people say that it would be inconvenient for buses or any other kind of transportation to change their routines. School starts this early so students can get to school with a ride from their parents. As someone who gets a ride from my mother, I understood this. However, after researching, I believe this is an easy fix. Carpooling is one option. Teenagers are getting their cars and licenses as soon as sophomore year. Another option is to switch the elementary and high school schedules. Bus schedules wouldn’t have to change, only their order of pickup would change. It makes sense for both elementary and high school students. Elementary kids naturally wake up earlier in the morning. They’re more alert compared to teenagers. Overall, while there are pros and cons to the story. I believe all the cons can and should be fixed easily. As someone who just went through the college application process, I wasn’t as happy with my scores as I should have been. The prospect that standardized scores and grades could improve should tower above anything else. 

CC BY-SA 4.0 School: something that should definitely start later by Anna is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

7 Comments
  1. Malia 9 months ago

    Anna, I really love the topic you’ve chosen. For me sleep is a big part of my life that I could really use more of. I have read a lot about whether or not to start the school day later and have heard many pros and cons. I know for a fact that one of the schools in my state has early start days every monday. I really wish that teachers and parents could see the effect that school has on us and give us just a smalll amount of time to really begin functioning. The MOST important thing above all is out health, and when people think heath they usually assume physical health. Sleep can really improve not only our physical but, possibly even more importantly, or mental.

  2. Naomi 9 months ago

    Anna,
    I completely agree with your stance on sleep for teenagers. Because of my schedule, I have a reduced schedule, which means I go to school one hour later, and it has definitely helped me. I have more energy, I do better in school, and I enjoy going to school more. I think a later start time would benefit students immensely.
    –Naomi

  3. Haley 9 months ago

    Hello Anna!
    I agree it would be nice for teens to be able to sleep in, but I do wonder about after school activities. By the time we got out and were able to have games and meets it may be dark out and that is a bit inconvenient for seeing. Do you have a plan for this? Even if students were excused early from class that may solve the problem, but we would be missing out on a lot of academic learning. Great post!

  4. Mae 9 months ago

    Anna, I think this is a great article. It is clear you have researched it well, and include both sides. I have learned about sleep deprivation a lot, and I agree that it can have dire effects, especially on teenagers. However I could also see where the issues could be in starting school later. I still think that just moving school to 9 AM would make a big difference in many teens lives. Good job on this!

  5. Tom 9 months ago

    Anna, The way you began this paper with research was great. I personally agree with you in the fact that as teenagers we do function a lot better if we have a full nights sleep. Even though transportation would change we could find a way around it, if that would be getting a ride from a friend or other ways around the transportation change. In the end more sleep could benefit school and after school activities. Great post.

  6. Vanessa 9 months ago

    Dear Anna, I would like to first start off by saying that your research piece on sleep deprivation was great and I enjoyed every last bit of it. I completely agree with what you have to say, it is very important that us teenagers get our sleep so that we can preform better in all areas. I also like ho you started to come up with solutions to the cons the were presented while you where doing your research. Great job Anna.

  7. Melaina 9 months ago

    Anna, I’ve heard/read a lot of the research about sleep deprivation and how it can change how successful kids are in school. I do believe if we teenagers had more sleep we would in fact preform better in school and sports. Unfortunately not everyone feels the same. Like you said, transportation would have to be change and it isn’t as convenient for the parents. After schools activities would have to be pushed back as well. Is this a sacrifice worth taking for some extra sleep? For some maybe, I agree with you, the physical and mental health of every kid is important.

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