How later school start times can affect students

“Come on, come on, it’s time to get to sleep,” my mom repeats for the third time at 11:00 p.m. “You have school tomorrow at 7:00 a.m., you won’t be able to wake up,” she says. I sigh, but still continue to finish up the last bits of homework that I had. I finally go to sleep at 12 a.m.

I’m always sleepy and tired when I reach zero period, because I stay up late finishing up homework. I get home from sports practice at 6:15 p.m. and do all my daily routines and needs. By the time all of that is done, it’s 7:45 p.m. I start homework and it takes me about three to four hours. Some days it only takes me an hour, but that’s rare. The next day I wake up at 5 a.m., which means I get roughly five hours of sleep every night. If school started later in the day, would that make the lives of many students, including mine, way less stressful?

The California Legislature has passed a mandate for middle and high school students to change the school start time to no earlier than 8:30 a.m. starting in 2021. Gov. Brown will decide whether to sign it by Sept. 30.

Many researchers claim that students have naturally late sleeping patterns. Research also shows improvement in depression and anxiety rates in some school districts where school starts late.

I believe school start times need to be pushed to a little later in the day and that classes should end earlier too. If school started late and ended late, there wouldn’t be much of a difference for students, as they still receive the same amount of time to complete homework and to sleep.

Many may argue that the schedule for each period may become shorter, but a solution to that can be to change every day to block days, or at least most days. If there are six school periods in a day, split them, so that each day only has three periods, and the time schedule for each period is increased which leads to more time for teachers.

The California Department of Education requires high school students to spend a minimum of 64,800 minutes in a year at school. Currently students spend around seven and a half hours at school. If start and end times became earlier, the amount of minutes spent at school has to be reduced.

Many students play sports and don’t have enough time to gain a full night’s rest after completing homework. I believe that school start times should be changed to later in the morning and also end earlier in the day, so that students have more time to complete homework and sleep, after the many extra curricular activities that they do.

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