California is the first U.S. state to push back school start times. This decision applied to middle and high schools. According to the L.A. Times, these institutions have a time of three years to correspond to the changes made. This question has remained for years about what teenage bodies need and what are the time schedules of the schools. The later school start times are known to have several benefits. Let’s see how researchers came up with this conclusion of later school start times.
View of the health experts
According to the health experts of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP), there are many benefits of later school start times. Now you may question why school should start later? It is because of hormones and other bodily changes; many teens find it difficult to fall asleep at night. Therefore, they have a hard time making themselves drag out of bed in the morning. When they wake early in the morning for school, the kids only get a fraction of the nine-plus hours of sleep they need to stay healthy.
Why should schools start late?
California is looking forward to making it a law that no middle school will start before 8 a.m. and high school before 8:30 a.m. It is following the footsteps of Seattle. The city is following a later school start times approach since 2017. It is because of the benefits of later school start times over the performance and attention of the child as sleep deprivation in teens leads to risk for obesity, higher levels of anxiety, and depression.
The domino effect
Although there are significant benefits of later school start times, schools are hesitating to adapt to this approach. It is because the change in the timing of the schools will be costlier to the administration. Change in the high school start time will mean that they may need more buses or drivers to accommodate the change.
But, a non-profit institution, the RAND Corporation, has a different perspective for later school start times. It says that one extra hour of sleep is estimated to increase the probability of high school graduation by 13.3 percent and the attendance rate of college by 9.6 percent. It will impact the ability of students to get jobs and will contribute more to the economy in their after school life.
Hurdles yet to overcome
There are people still questioning why school should start later? As there is an issue of sports and physical activities of the children. Because if the school starts late, then it is going to end late too. It will leave the students with less time for after school activities. Others oppose this idea due to the fear of something different.
One significant benefit of later school start times is allowing students to get the amount of sleep they need each night. Well-rested children are less prone to diseases and less susceptible to sports injuries. In the long run, it also decreases the absentees and increases student attention as well as attendance.
So know you might also wish that the schools should start late and have understood why schools should start later.