Why School Should Start At A Later Time

Newburyport’s recent change in school schedules could lead to Triton considering to do the same

Over the years, a common question from students and their parents alike is, “Should schools have later start times?” Newburyport has recently announced that they will have later start times for the next school year. Is it time for Triton schools to follow in Newburyport’s footsteps? Countless studies have shown that it is indeed better for schools to start later rather than earlier. 

It’s widely known that teenagers should get about 8 to 10 hours of sleep. However, according to a study from the National Sleep Foundation, only about 15% of students reported being able to get an efficient amount of sleep on school nights. Teenagers also tend to have irregular sleep schedules, sometimes going to bed later than usual due to homework, jobs, and other factors. Studies from Science Advances have also shown that when the Seattle School District changed the school start times, there was a 4.5% increase in the median grades of students and an improvement in attendance. By starting school at a later time, students could get more sleep, and therefore be more energized for the school day. Besides, most students aren’t very eager to do schoolwork at 7:30 in the morning. 

In addition to feeling more well-rested in the morning, getting more sleep at night is also beneficial to adolescent’s physical and mental health. According to the CDC, teens who do not get enough sleep are more likely to be overweight, not get enough exercise, suffer from depression, and engage in unhealthy risk behaviors like drinking, smoking, and drug use. Getting more sleep would lessen these problems for adolescents. By not getting enough sleep, students who drive to school could also end up feeling sleepy or drowsy while behind the wheel, which is very dangerous and can result in car crashes and incidents if they aren’t careful. 

When the idea of starting school at a later time is brought up, it is frequently countered by the idea that school would then end at a later time. Many students have after-school activities and sports they play that they have to focus on after the bell rings. If these end later on, students that participate in these activities will barely have time to do homework when they get home, or simply have time for themselves to relax. However, due to the numerous studies, surveys, and research conducted by professionals on this subject matter, it’s evident that starting school at a later time would have many overall benefits to teenagers, even if it does mean they leave school at a later time.