Does School Start Too Early?


When the weekend has passed no Jerome High School student looks forward to the fast approaching Monday. The sound of the dreaded alarm ringing, and the sound filling their empty room. For most students Monday is amongst the most dreaded days of the week, but this isn’t due to the start of school. This dread is only caused by the early time students are forced to wake up.  The morning bells at JHS ring approximately at 7:55 am and the final one at 8:00 am. These bell times mean most students are up before the sun. When waking up at 6:00 am just to get to school on time it makes one think, does school start too early? The only way to answer this question is yes, school does in fact  start too early. 

In previous years numerous studies have been conducted on the correspondence between sleep and school. Many of these studies have concluded that not getting enough sleep does in fact lead to bad performance in the classroom. A study done by Dr. Nilong Vyas states that ¨lack of sleep can cause the reduction of cognitive abilities in adolescents.¨ A decrease in cognitive abilities can lead to things such as decreased attention span, imparied memory, slowed processing, reduced creativity and worsened sequential thinking. All of these things are key components to a stable learning environment. Jerome High School teacher Mrs. Fullen stated that she noticed teens in her first hour have always had difficulty staying awake and focused. She said she notices that the kids in her second class of the day, which starts approximately 8:55 am, have an easier time focusing and retaining the information. This could be due to the sleep schedule that many teens are on, but along with that it could also be due to the fact that the human brain does not become fully active until anywhere from nine to ten in the morning. 

While student performance is amongst some of the most important benefits from a later start time, there are many more things that would come.  According to some of these include a reduction in car accidents amongst student drivers, better physical health, extra time to make sure the day is started right with a healthy breakfast and so much more. There are a multitude of reasons why school should be started at a later time. Student Ingrid Ramirez says ¨ If I could change it, I would make school start later. I really think school should start at around 9 am. When I get to school I just don’t feel awake and ready to learn. I think a lot of kids would benefit from a later start, it would give us time to wake up.¨ The argument of whether school should start later seems to be a unanimous decision. While everyone agrees on the benefits, this could be an issue for our school faculty to take into consideration. 

While there are issues that could come from this, such as remaking an entire school schedule, later release times and more there are many benefits that come from this. The reasons supporting this being plentiful. School should start at a later time, for the better of the school and the students.