The Student News Site of Manheim Township High School

The Township Times

The Student News Site of Manheim Township High School

The Township Times

The Township Times

The Student News Site of Manheim Township High School

The Township Times

Opinion: Early School Start Times Are Detrimental To Students’ Education
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For most of high school and middle school, students wake up before the sun. They get ready for the day in the dark, and in many cases do not get home until after the sun sets. School start times make it hard for many students to receive a healthy amount of sleep, maintain focus in school, and earn adequate grades. This is especially true for those students that work after school, have extracurriculars and are assigned lots of homework.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, teenagers should get 8-10 hours of sleep every 24 hours. Getting less than this amount of sleep can significantly affect their cognitive abilities. A sleep deprived teenager can be moody, have trouble concentrating, experience poor academic performance and struggle with drowsiness. 

Teachers are no stranger to dealing with this struggle, and often have to accommodate with it on a daily basis. The earlier that a student has to be at school, the earlier the teacher has to be at school to prepare for the day. Moreover, tired students are irritable and unable to concentrate, making the teacher’s job much harder. 

“It’s hard to get students to get up and want to do their work as opposed to students in sixth period where it is hard to calm some of them down,” said MT highschool history teacher Kelsey Spang-Conrad.

The risks that come along with such early start times can be very dangerous aside from just affecting school performance. At MTHS this year, about 480 parking permits have been sold to high school students. Since many students are driving themselves at an early start time, they are more at risk to be driving while still waking up.

Can later school start times fix these issues? An experiment done in 2016 by the University of Washington shows that they can. College students wore bracelets to track their sleep before and after the school changed their start time from 7:50 to 8:45. They got 34 minutes of extra sleep in the morning with a later start time. Not only did they get more sleep, but additionally their grade average also increased by 4.5% in their biology class. 

I think that many students who have a job, participate in after-school activities, and get a lot of homework, would benefit the most from having later school start times. This includes myself. On nights that I work after school, I feel much more tired in the morning which leads to often making it harder to get my work done. 

Some highschool students here at MT feel the same about the need for start times to be changed.

“I volunteer and have extracurriculars outside of school, so balancing homework assignments and other life activities is challenging when I need to get a good amount of sleep. I feel as though I have to pick between good grades, good social life, or a good sleep schedule,” said MT junior Sarah Attia.

Therefore, school start times should be pushed back so that students and teachers can be well rested and ready for the day on a physical and mental level. 

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Reagan Wagner
Reagan Wagner, Staff writer
Reagan is a staff writer for The Township Times and is a sophomore at MT.

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    Samuel AltdoerfferFeb 21, 2024 at 8:01 am

    I think school should start later like at 8:30 AM because everybody is really tired when they get up for school at 6:15 AM or five thirty AM especially when students have a lot going on after school especially for example when one of my classmates was in a play he had play practice until 10:00 pm.