Later School Start TImes

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“BEEP, BEEP, BEEP!” The teenage student slams on the snooze button and struggles to get out of bed for the early school day. Teens on average need 9 ¼ hours of sleep (Backgrounder: Later School Start Times). Teens currently average fewer than 7 hours of sleep (Backgrounder: Later School Start Times). Hectic schedules, poor sleep habits, homework, and family obligations are the problem (Backgrounder: Later School Start Times). Schools are considering starting their school days later in the morning. For example, one Minneapolis school considered pushing back their start time from 7:15 to 8:30. Another Seattle school considers pushing back the school day start reported Jean Enersen. Would this benefit the students or harm the students? Is this for the better or for the worse? These are questions many superintendents and school board members are asking themselves. They all want to do what is best for their students, so the topic takes a lot of thinking, planning, and conversations. School starting later can be a very controversial issue.

A normal school day begins between 7:00 and 8:00 (Canapari). A typical wake time for students is 6 A.M. (Canapari). An average teen goes to bed between 10 and 11 (Canapari). This means that an average teen gets on average seven to eight hours of sleep when they need on average 9 ¼ hours of sleep as stated in the above paragraph. One man, Matt Gaetz stated, “The evidence is pretty one sided that high school students don’t have the same cognitive function that they have at eight or nine in the morning.” (Beaton). There are many pros to beginning the school day later. One pro is the reduced risk of teen crashes. The later start time would allow teens to be more alert while driving to school (Pro...

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