Should School Start Later?

Sleep helps students succeed in school


Jacob Corrente, Staff Writer

Last year, students and faculty had a very crazy year. There were constant changes in our schedule with students being in school, at home, or everyone being completely remote. The only thing that didn’t change was the time we started school every day.

We started school every day at 7:50 a.m. and I believe we should make this the normal time to start our school day to help benefit the students of Sutton High.

I saw many benefits of starting school at 7:50 a.m. every day.  I was able to wake up at 7:00 a.m. when I typically would be going to school. I had more time to sleep in and get the rest that is necessitated for teenagers.

Having the extra 20 minutes allowed time to eat breakfast every morning, which was always hard to do when school started at 7:30 a.m. I am lucky enough to drive myself to school every day, but some kids take the bus and the bus could come as early as 6:15 in the morning for some students, so they have to get ready extremely early and may not have the adequate time to prepare for the day.

I enjoyed the quality time I had with my friends every morning in one of our cars listening to music since I hadn’t seen them in almost a year and didn’t have classes with them. Getting this extra time to catch up with them was very important to me. Many other students benefited from the change when school started.

I asked Senior Liz Marois if she liked the day starting at 7:50 a.m. “Yes, I feel like it gave you a safety net to come in later so fewer people were tardy. Also, it gave me more time to sleep in and get ready for the day. I felt less stressed in the morning because of that extra 20 minutes. It also helped lower the amount of traffic coming to the school because the middle school started earlier therefore the parent drop-off line was more contained.” 

I believe that there are many benefits to starting later every day. Many students felt like they didn’t have to rush around to get ready for school and were able to have a stress-free morning. ”Yes, because a lot of people are trying to adjust and everyone is rushing to get to school,” Sutton High senior Riley Towle said.

I asked Sutton High teacher Amber Trudeau about her thoughts about starting school at 7:50 a.m. like last year. “My opinion is based on just the science and biology around the teenage brain. Teenagers’ brains function better later in the morning. I felt like with the later start time, even with remote learning there was more engagement within the class. It gave students time to sleep in or get situated better.”

It is recommended that kids get up to 8 to 10 hours of sleep. To make this happen, kids could start going to bed earlier but with some of their schedules, it is almost impossible to get an adequate amount of time to sleep.

I asked some of my friends who go to different high schools in the area about what time they think their school day should start. Liv Melo from St. Paul’s, which like Sutton starts their day at 7:30, about start times and she was fine with their time. “I have no issue going to school at 7:30 a.m. as long as it means I can get out at 2:00 pm every day.”

Now with a Millbury School student, her response was, “We start at 7:40 a.m. every day and I believe if we started 20 minutes later I would have less stress in the morning. I have to shower, get dressed, and eat breakfast every morning and I do not get the right amount of sleep so I already start my day off on the wrong foot.”

Another one of my friends from Grafton starts school at 7:25 a.m. and she would love to have the extra 20 minutes in the morning. Now some students do not need the extra time but many do need the extra time for their morning schedule which could all be fixed with an extra 20 minutes to get to class every morning.

There are many benefits to starting the school day later and the students enjoy starting later as well. They are given more time to do whatever it is they need to do every morning and school is all about setting the students up for success. Therefore, they should start school later in the morning so all students can have an easier start to their day as a high school student.