By Jesse Boudro, Windsor High School, Windsor, Vermont
Most teenagers have a hard time getting up and going to school and performing their best early in the morning. It is normal for teens not to be able to fall asleep before 11 because they have different body clocks. If school started even one hour later, more kids would show up on time and do better in their morning classes.
Changing school start times can be hard for most schools. The schools would have to delay busing schedules, practice schedules would have to be changed, and many parents rely on the start times for other reasons, like work. For that reason high school could start later with fewer problems than elementary school because a lot of teenagers have their licenses and the kids that don’t could probably get a ride from one of their friends. Teenagers have a different body clock than adults. Teenagers are supposed to get 8 ½ to 9 ¼ hours of sleep each night. Scientists say that all of the electronics that teenagers use keep their minds thinking longer so it makes it harder for them to fall asleep.
Studies have shown that delaying the start of school even an hour and moving their core classes to the end of the day had a big effect on attendance and performance of the students of the schools. There was also fewer students feeling depressed or going to the nurse than usual. The scientists have been telling school districts and trying to convince them to change their start times to just an hour later until 8 or 8:30 and at least trying to move their core classes to the afternoon when teenagers brains are working fully.
If school started at 8:30 and core classes were moved to the end of the day, teenagers would show up to school more and try harder while they were in school, which means they would all perform better and get better grades.
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the original article from hsj.org, written by Jesse Boudro