Students often sleep through their alarm or hit the snooze button on their clock so they can sleep longer after a long night of studying, making this a good reason why schools should start later. Photo by Isabella Purdy.
Fountain Valley High School

A push to start school later

With the heavy amounts of homework, extracurriculars, and family to juggle around, we all face the loss of sleeping hours. Students usually have two to seven hours of sleep, well under the amount of sleep needed. Worst of all, you feel tired, groggy, and restless the next morning, not prepared for another full day at school. Taking that all in your mind, should school be starting later for all high school students?

Sleep is important for all teenagers for them to stay healthy; we need nine hours of sleep in total. However, not many students even reach this amount, calling it a “miracle” to make this count. According to the Nationwide Children’s Hospital, children between the ages of 13-18 get only seven hours of or under sleep. In addition, teens are also at a more likely chance to suffer sleep deprivation, with side effects such as: changes in mood and behavior, low academic performance and decreasing cognitive ability.

Tackling down a full school day with a lack of sleep is extremely hard. Your brain is not on its full A-game; you lack memory, attention and alertness. You have extreme fatigue that won’t go away, and worse of all, not being able to intake the information being crammed into your head.

Fountain Valley High School’s solution for students is to have late start on Monday; students are able to come to school one hour later. However, this really has no effect to students, many of them still come early regardless. Worse of all, zero period students don’t even get to start school later. They have to start school at their usual time, and wait another hour for first period to start.

Students of FVHS agree that we need to start school later. Sophomore Miri Guerin said, “I believe school should start later in the day, it gives an opportunity for us to have more sleep plus feel less groggy during the day.”

Many people don’t agree to start school early because of one simple fact, we would get out of school later in the day. The only reason many people assume that is because their bell schedule is formatted to fit all of a student’s classes in a day. A solution for this is to implement block scheduling, which is alternating classes between the week. Classes would be significantly longer, but you would be able to start school later.

However, schools in California have been able to change their school times to help students receive more sleep. For example, Justin-Siena High School was able to adjust their schedule their start time to 9 a.m., and end school at 3:10 p.m. The school implemented block periods so students can alternate between classes each day.

Justin-Siena Principal John Bordelon commented about this change saying, “It’s all about the students’ health and well-being. The bottom line is that we want to position students optimally for as much growth as possible, so we should design the schedule around adolescent biology.”

For a student’s four years of high school, all of them will have many school days with a lack of sleep. Think about how many students stay up just to finish their burden of homework, and don’t forget those who do sports and extracurriculars. In all, we should be able to have a good night’s rest. Starting school later will give an opportunity for students to be fully prepared for a long school day, and also give students the nine hours of sleep they need.

If you come to school with only two to seven hours of sleep, wouldn’t you want school to start later in the day?

–John Le

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