Does School Start to Early (Pros and Cons of Starting School Later (Pros…
Does School Start to Early
Pros and Cons of Starting School Later
Students who live far away will have more time to get ready for school and sleep.
Students will get more sleep and time to eat breakfast in the morning.
Starting school later gave students time to eat a healthy breakfast.
Given reasonable bell times, students can have the time to sit down for breakfast. This means having healthier breakfast choices than prepackaged foods developed for on- the-go eating.
Eating breakfast is important for everyone, but is especially so for children and adolescents. According to the American Dietetic Association, children who eat breakfast perform better in the classroom and on the playground, with better concentration, problem-solving skills, and eye-hand coordination.
Later start times reduced tardiness, truancy and dropout rates.
The same study cited above also found that starting the school day at a later time improved school attendance. When students slept adequately, they were less sluggish in the morning and more enthusiastic about going to school.
It becomes difficult to schedule sports practice and extra-curricular activities.
It is difficult to squeeze academic schedules, sports events and extra-curricular activities into available daytime hours if schools started later .
School districts will face administrative and operational pressures.
School scheduling is a delicate balance of resource allocation. Administrators deploy staggered school start times to allocate limited resources and to operate efficiently within their budgets. Adjusting bell times for high school students means that buses can’t be rotated for different pick-up schedules. Overcrowded schools cannot stagger bell times to accommodate more classes to meet class size limits.
A late start time will disrupt parents’ schedules.
In households where adults work traditional hours, adjusting the first bell schedule to the recommended 10 a.m. start time will disrupt the household’s schedule. Students who have no bus service may have problems getting to and from school.
Effects on Learning
Schools with later start times showed significant improvements in school performance.
School districts that experimented with later start times found that students coped with academic workloads much better. A study that included 9,000 high school students conducted by the University of Minnesota found that grades, test scores and overall performance in core subjects advanced significantly when school start times were switched to later hours.
Later start times enhanced all-day focus, improved mood and boosted sports performance.
Getting adequate sleep and adjusting school schedules to coincide with the natural sleep patterns of teens improved mood and attitude. Students were less likely to report depressive conditions. Physical performance in sports was boosted when students had enough sleep and sleep schedules coincided with biological sleep patterns.
Effects on Health
Sleep plays a critical role in thinking and learning. Lack of sleep hurts these cognitive processes in many ways. First, it impairs attention, alertness, concentration, reasoning, and problem solving. This makes it more difficult to learn efficiently.
Teenagers need at least 8.5 to 9.25 hours of sleep based on their biological clocks. Sleep deprivation affects physical and mental performance because the body’s peak ability depends on its circadian rhythm. Several studies show that high school students are among the most sleep-deprived groups due to a combination of academic workload, sports, extra-curricular activities and starting their day too early. A study conducted jointly by Harvard and Oxford found recommended that school districts adjust schedules to match the biological wake-up times of each age group. At 16, this is around 10 a.m.; at 18, 11 a.m. is the optimum wake-up time.