Later Start Time

Eugena Bush, Student Contributor

The issue of going to school later or earlier in the morning is an issue that has been on the minds of students and teachers across America. Some people feel that starting school earlier in the day is better because student athletes won’t be getting home as late in the afternoon after practices and games. They believe that simply moving the start time later will not ensure that students are getting enough sleep, because they respond to it by just staying up later. However there have been multiple studies showing that a later start time is beneficial for both students’ grades and overall mental health. 

People that oppose a later start time are mostly those participating in athletic activities, such as players, coaches, and referees. Their concern with a later start is the time those athletic participants would be finished with their activities. Sports practices usually last about two to three hours, and with many students having to catch an activity bus afterwards, their home arrival time is sometimes as late as 9:00 at night. Getting home this late can be problematic for these students because they don’t have a lot of time to eat and do homework before they have to go to bed again for school the next morning. 

Although the opposition’s claims are valid, the benefits of a later start time far outweigh the bad. Multiple scientific studies have shown that a later start time is not only beneficial for students mental health, but also for their participation in class as well as their grades. Starting school later in the morning has resulted in significant improvements in both classes as well as graduation rates. Students can sleep more, so they are less likely to be tired or moody at school. Teachers reported that students don’t fall asleep as much in class, and are more likely to improve with a later start time. 

Another big benefit of a later start time is the fact that it can give students a lot more time to get breakfast into their system. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day for growing and learning minds, yet more than 40% of students reported that they don’t eat breakfast. Earlier start times result in earlier school bus pickup times, which decreases the amount of time that students have to eat in the morning. This is further evidence that a later start time will improve grades. 

Although many people may not approve of later start times, the benefits are undeniable. Schools that have implemented later start times have reported better overall grades of their students. They don’t fall asleep in class as much, and are willing participants in class and in class discussions. Students being able to wake up later is beneficial for their moods and attitudes at school. As they are more likely to be happier and more energetic rather than angry and irritable all day. And, with students gaining time to eat breakfast in the morning, it’s impossible to say that a later start time would not be successful in schools everywhere.