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The Rider Online | Legacy HS Student Media

Covering the Bronco Nation.

The Rider Online | Legacy HS Student Media

Covering the Bronco Nation.

The Rider Online | Legacy HS Student Media

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Opinion: The School Day Should Start Later

Studies+show+students+who+started+school+later+in+the+day+were+more+successful+and+productive+in+class.
Studies show students who started school later in the day were more successful and productive in class.

A 7:25 a.m. start time continues to be detrimental to students and teachers, and a later start time could be beneficial to test scores, attendance, and mental health. Mansfield ISD should adjust the high school start time to help the well-being of its students. 

Starting school at 7:25 requires students to wake up at 6:30 a.m. at the latest. Ben Barber classes start at 7 a.m. Driving drowsy worsens driver’s reaction times and awareness levels which is especially dangerous with teen drivers. According to nsc.com, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety estimates that 328,000 crashes occur annually because of drowsy driving. Starting later allows students to have more time to focus on driving safely, and it also removes the risk of driving in the dark during the morning. 

A study done by sleepfoundation.org reports that teens need between eight and ten hours of sleep each night, but only 30% of teenagers report sufficient sleep on school nights. It also reports if teens were to follow their natural circadian rhythms, most would sleep from about 11 p.m. or midnight to 8 or 9 a.m. However, our school system is nowhere close to adapting to this rhythm. Starting school at 8 a.m. would not completely fit in this time frame, but it could be a huge improvement in helping students get more quality sleep. 

Being tired and lackadaisical also reduces performance in the classroom. A study by the University of Washington on how later start times affected teens reported that grades increased 4.5% after start times were pushed back, and first-period tardies and absences also decreased. Students also report that they are more likely to fall asleep in their first-period classes. Starting classes later in the day will help students achieve better grades and learn and retain more information. 

The solution to this dilemma is to switch the bell schedules of high school and elementary school. Starting high school at 8 a.m. matches closer to a teenager’s natural wakeup time, and starting at 7:25 a.m. better matches the circadian rhythm of smaller children. Sleepadvisor.org says that younger kids naturally wake up at 6 a.m., which is much more cohesive than starting at 7:25. Switching start times instead of completely changing high school doesn’t affect transportation, as bus drivers who normally drive the high school route can just drive the elementary school route and vice versa. 

Opponents of changing the high school start time may say that ending school later will not allow students to work after school, but that is not the case. Most shifts start somewhere between 4 and 5 P.M., and ending school at 3:30 still gives ample time for students to get to work. 

Overall, starting school later would be extremely beneficial to students and teachers alike.

About the Contributor
Ryleigh Stinson, Staff Writer
My name is Ryleigh, I play softball, and this is my first year on the newspaper staff.
View Comments (4)
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  • J

    Jay HillisJan 30, 2024 at 12:34 pm

    ate

  • J

    Jackson GourleyJan 30, 2024 at 11:33 am

    Agreed.

  • R

    Rebecca VianaJan 30, 2024 at 10:14 am

    I used to wake up earlier when I was younger so I agree that younger kids naturally wake up earlier.

  • N

    Nic PixlerJan 29, 2024 at 10:26 am

    For real school should start later.