By Lucy Lin ’15
Waking up has become a challenge for the majority of teens. Recent studies have shown that pushing back school start times will be extremely beneficial to students who are struggling to arrive on time.
However, is it really going to work?
If the school start times were really to be pushed later, one of the main problems would be after school activities.
According to the High School Athletics Participation Survey conducted by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) in 2011, 55.5 percent of high school students participate in sports.
Usually sports practice starts around 3:00. If schools start later, this would mean practice needs to start later. This is not something that schools can individually decide. The sports are regulated by the Public Schools Athletic League (PSAL). Therefore, unless this changes, starting school later would mean many students can’t participate in sports.
A lot of other students won’t be able to participate in clubs, meaning that they would need to end early and their schedules would also have to be changed.
After school activities are not the only thing that prevent change to starting school later. Many teachers have families they need to take care of. When they get home, they need to cook, clean, and watch their children. The younger students usually get out of school at 3:00, so if the schedules would really change, this would mean teachers wouldn’t be able to make it on time.
Pushing school start times later would only make it inconvenient for both teachers and students.
Another thing that people must know is that with classes starting later, they will also end later. A few years ago, when there was still an 11th period, many parents complained that their children were going home in the dark, and students complained of staying so late. There are changes now to solve this problem, but if the school would start later, this problem will recur.
Another reason classes should continue to start early is that teens should be adapting to the adult world. In reality, adults start work at seven or eight. High school is supposed to prepare young adults to move in to the real world, so why make it different? If students get used to it now, in the future they would have a much easier time fitting in.
Sleep deprivation is a big issue in teen life and many believe that starting classes later can change that.
According to the 2006 Teens and Sleep Poll done by the National Sleep Foundation, about 45 percent of adolescents in America get less than eight hours of shut-eye every night. To remain alert and stay active throughout the day, teens need nine hours.
This is true, but the seed of the problem is not waking up early, but rather sleeping late. Teens are under stress all the time because of school, but what they don’t realize is better time organization and avoiding procrastination will make their lives a lot easier. The reason it’s difficult for them to wake up early is because they sleep too late trying to finish projects the night before. If the hours of sleep are met, the time you wake up wouldn’t really make a difference.
Therefore, beginning schools later isn’t needed.
Waking up early isn’t really a major problem for teens at Midwood. There are about 45 first period classes, which makes up only 20 percent of all classes held. Plus, only juniors and seniors will have these. Freshman and sophomores don’t begin till third period, which is around nine.
Delaying school start times is not necessary in improving the education system.