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Dear America: School Must Start Later

Kids are not getting enough sleep

In the past couple of years the debate on what time schools should start has become more popular. Many people argue that some schools start way too early but some others disagree and think that the schools start time is fine where it is. I am one of the people that thinks school starts too early. 

Research shows that a later starting time can have positive effects on students, that being their academic performance and well being. Not getting enough sleep while you’re young and still growing can be bad. Insufficient sleep has been linked to many issues: depression, anxiety, increased stress, and decreased cognitive skills.

A July 2022 survey of parents and teachers by the Sleep Foundation showed 38.% of adults, 34.7% of parents, and 35.2% of teachers want later school times.

Some cognitive skills are memory, attention, perception, and processing all of which are necessary for learning new things in school.

One of the most important advantages of a later start time is the possibility of improving students’ mental health. Getting a good night of rest contributes to reduced stress levels which improves students’ moods.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that teenagers aged 13 to 18 years should regularly sleep 8 to 10 hours per day for good health.

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More good things about having a delayed start time is a decrease in tardiness and absences since the students have more time to get ready for school and still be fully rested.

This doesn’t just benefit the student but also the teachers. Most teachers’ schedules are very busy because of grading and lesson planning so they don’t often get much sleep and a lack of sleep can make their day rough.

All of the evidence that supports a later school start time is very compelling and the idea of delayed starting times could be a step closer to a healthier and more productive learning environment. 


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    Michael BilicaApr 28, 2024 at 1:24 pm

    I completely agree. We should bring it to the school committee for consideration!