Start of school should change to later morning time

Des Cutter, Journalist

According to studies from Nationwide Children’s Hospital, the average teenager gets around seven hours of sleep, even though it has been proven by doctors that they need just over nine hours.

Children’s health studies also recommend that schools should start no earlier than 8:30 a.m. for teenagers to function at a normal level. However, most schools start nearly an hour earlier.

Our administrators at Northwest Schools always want what is best for students, yet school still starts at 7:30 a.m. If they truly want what is best for students they should follow the research and move the start time to 8:30 a.m. By moving the start times, students would get twenty more hours of sleep per month, which is what students need.

To change school hours, it would require extending the day. Some would argue that this would mess with the athletic schedule, but shouldn’t we be focused on academics first?

Ultimately, more sleep would improve the athlete’s performances and it would mean only a few students would have to leave early. It makes sense to have only a few students leave early rather than have the whole student body conform to a few students’ needs.

According to studies by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the health benefits of getting better sleep include getting sick less often, maintaining a healthy weight, reduced stress, improved mood, thinking more clearly, and doing better at school and work. With more sleep students are less likely to miss school from health related issues.

Some may argue that the need for early school start times is preparation of working on “adult” schedules and allowing the start times to be pushed forward would be “spoiling” students. On the other hand, not all jobs require getting up so early.

School starting times for students are outdated. Lack of sleep affects our mental and physical health, concentration, and ability to function in the morning.

All of these reasons are why, in the best interest of the students, Northwest should change the start times for school from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.