School Start Times having an Effect on Students


Waking up at the crack of dawn, tired and sleep-deprived, is something that most MHS students have at least felt before. Our school’s start time is the main culprit behind why students feel this way.

Many teenagers find high school to be stressful and draining due to the lack of sleep many students experience, in part because high school students rise earlier than is often considered to be healthy.

Today, most high schools in the US start between 7:30 – 7:45 a.m. This goes back to when high schools were created and America was far more agricultural. In those days, the expectation was that once school finished, students would go work on a farm or go to work somewhere else. 

This, however, isn’t the case anymore, and it’s causing harm to students across the country.

According to The Center for Disease Control [CDC], “Not getting enough sleep is common among high school students and is associated with several health risks including being overweight, drinking alcohol, smoking tobacco, and using drugs, as well as poor academic performance”. 

All of these problems have plagued high schools across the nation for some time, which has resulted in decreased academic performance across America.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that schools should start at 8:30 a.m. or even later to give students a proper amount of sleep. 

Some states, like California, have already adjusted the start time of high school to 8:30 a.m. Other states like New Jersey and New York have also considered similar legislation. This may appear as progress, but the rest of the nation needs to also make these adjustments even if it takes time. 

I can speak from personal experience when I say that most students, including myself, would greatly benefit from such a shift. Starting school at 7:30 and trying to complete tasks while you’re half asleep frequently results in subpar academic achievement and a negative work ethic. 

I frequently find it difficult to concentrate in my first period classes. Because of the early start times, I frequently feel am on the verge of falling asleep. This has affected my performance in those classes since it has caused me to pay less attention and consequently decreased the quality of my work.

Those who oppose this change may argue that students should just adhere to a routinely schedule, but this is challenging for teenagers. According to The Center for Disease Control [CDC], adolescents must sleep longer in the morning to receive a sufficient amount of sleep since biological rhythms frequently change during puberty.

School start times  shouldn’t be an additional hardship for high school students who already struggle to get adequate sleep. High schools should begin later than 7:30 a.m. across the country for the benefit of both students and instructors.