Should We Have Late Start Every Day?

Mia Welsh

          Everyday school starts at 8:15, but is that too early? We get a break from that every Monday because we have a late start where school starts at 9:15 so students get to sleep in after the weekend. For most kids when school starts at 8:15 they wake up between 6:30 and 7:15 and most kids don’t go to sleep until 10:30 to 11:30 and sometimes later. So on average they would get 7-8 hours of sleep and that sounds good but, according to The American Academy of Sleep Medicine has recommended that children between the ages 6–12 years should regularly sleep 9–12 hours per 24 hours, and teenagers aged 13–18 years should sleep 8–10 hours per 24 hours. Not only that but according to a survey in 2015 the CDC analyzed by Youth Risk Behaviour Surveys about 6 out of 10 middle school students do not get enough sleep on school nights. Not only that but on late start days students are more awake, they pay more attention in class, and they participate more. I think schools should start later because it’s better for the student’s well-being to get enough sleep and I think we should start school later in the morning rather than getting out of school earlier in the day.

Currently, the most recent law about what time school can start in California is that middle schools can not start before 8 a.m. and high schools can not start until after 8:30 This bill was passed in 2019 and stated that schools have until July 1st, 2022 to change their schedule if need be. So luckily all the 8th graders going into high school will not have to start school till after 8:30 next year. Sadly for the 6th and 7th graders, it will get worse because school is now starting 15 mins earlier and there is not going to be a late start anymore instead school is going to get out at 1 on Wednesdays.

Also, according to California law, there has to be a minimum of 900 hours in a school year and 180 days so technically we are only required to have 5 hours of school. Currently, our school days are 6 and a half hours on Tuesdays- Fridays and 5 and a half on Mondays. So school could start at 9:15 the late start time and still get out at the same time. So why don’t we?