Should School Begin an Hour Earlier?

Editorial Opinion

Waking up early in the morning and getting ready for school is an indisputable routine for most students worldwide to be able to go to school on time.

Pace’s classes begin an hour later than most other schools, deviating from the usual eight in the morning and starting at nine and this is a good thing.

The benefits of later school starting times can be apparent in all sorts of ways, one just needs to know how to utilize this magnificent advantage.

Fruzsina Farkas, grade 9, said, “I think Pace begins an hour later than other schools so people can have more time to sleep, get ready for school, and/or make it easier for students who live far away to wake up at a reasonable time. I also think it results in less students arriving late to school.”

She wasn’t far off from the school administrations’ answer. Assistant Principal DeRosa followed up Fruzsina with her own claims.

She explained the reasoning behind this hour push-back. “Part of it is because of the shared campus since the middle school starts 45 minutes earlier, so it helps our schedules be staggered,” Ms. DeRosa said. The building’s campus is divided among two other schools: Emma Lazarus High School and M.S. 131, so that some spaces in the campus are shared between these three schools.

Ms. DeRosa also elaborated on the importance of sleep. “I think that students being able to sleep and waking up a little later can help teenagers’ brains have a positive impact on them, as they tend to go to sleep later in the night, allowing them to focus better in their classes.”

A study performed by the Sleep Foundation emphasized that sleep is essential to adolescents, as their brains are changing the most during this stage of life. In their investigation, they found that in 2006, 45% of teenagers had less than seven hours of sleep, which is under the sleep recommendation of eight to ten hours. And in 2019, this number rose to an astonishing 89% of teenagers who were receiving insufficient levels of sleep, and the underlying culprit to that: early school start times.

Soon, teachers will begin to vote for the upcoming school year’s start time and there are a growing number of teachers that wish to begin the school day at 8:15. Students and parents who wish to voice their opinions should speak to a teacher and assist them in deciding which side to choose.