A later start to the school day would benefit students

Upon recommendation from the American Association of Pediatric, the district should start the high school day later

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A later start to the school day would benefit students

Justin Curto, JagWire managing editor

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For me, waking up for school in the morning is quite an endeavor. There are days when I wake up 15 minutes after my alarm goes off, others when I can’t function enough to get dressed after waking up and still others when the only reason why I don’t fall asleep during first block is the 12 ounces of coffee I drink each morning. And when all three of these events coincide, it’s a miracle I even make it to school. Contrary to popular belief, there is a way to end these terrible mornings – starting the school day later.

Recently, the American Association of Pediatrics published a study stating that middle and high schools should start no earlier than 8:30 a.m. They found that 87 percent of high school students don’t get the 8.5-9.5 hours of sleep they’re supposed to, and that delaying school start times would help solve this problem.

If the school day started later, the effects would be amazing. Students would be getting an extra 30 minutes to an hour of sleep, which could push many of them to the recommended 8.5 hours, and would still leave others feeling more rested and energized for their day. The study cites physical, mental, health, safety, academic and overall life quality benefits from getting more sleep as a teenager.

However, starting the school day later would consequentially make after-school extracurricular activities run later. This brings up a question: which deserves priority, education or extracurriculars? Since a high school’s first purpose is to provide the best education possible, the best way to do that would be to allow students more sleep, even at the expense of extracurricular activities.

If the school day were to start later, the effects would be tremendous and immediate. It’s time for the district to listen to the AAP and change our start times.

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