School Start Time Change

Do schools these days start too early in the morning?


Photo By: Ana Chadwick

Lafayette High School during the spring. Many students agree here that school starting later would be better.

Recently, parents and students alike have been concerned about the effects that starting school so early has on students, specifically teenagers. There are many credible sources, such as the CDC and medically specialized universities, that prove that high school should start at a later time due to the many health risks that disturbing the natural sleep cycle of teenagers poses.

Many students don’t get enough sleep, which causes them to fall asleep during class.

Currently the Start Times of WJCC Schools are as follows:

  • Elementary: 9:35am-4:05om
  • Middle: 8:05am-2:45pm
  • High: 7:20am-2:00pm

How would the school start/end times change?

There are two potential start time options that are currently being weighed, according to WJCC.

The first one is still early in the morning but rearranged to accommodate the natural sleep cycles of teens –

  • Tier 1 Elementary: 7:25am-1:55pm
  • Tier 2 Elementary: 8:05am-2:35pm
  • Tier 3 High: 8:45am-3:25pm
  • Tier 4 Middle: 9:30am-4:10pm

The second option has the entire school schedule starting 15-20 minutes later as well as having high schoolers starting later in the morning-

  • Tier 1 Elementary: 7:40am-2:5pm
  • Tier 2 Elementary: 8:20am-2:50pm
  • Tier 3 High: 9:00am-3:40pm
  • Tier 4 Middle: 9:15am-4:25pm

Why is it good that schools are accommodating to high schoolers natural sleep cycle? 

Some of the risks of teens waking up too early and disturbing their circadian rhythm are:

Sleep deprivation causes 100,000 car accidents a year. If teens are sleep deprived because school stats too early, they will be the ones getting in crashes.
  • Increases risk of injury and accidents
  • Increases likeliness of developing diabetes and other health issues
  • Increases risk of depression and anxiety
  • Decreases exam scores and student grades
  • Decreases student attendance and tardiness
  • Decreases students’ ability to focus in class

What do students think of the current school schedule?  

Devan –

Do you think school starts too early?

  • “Yes, like I think it starts too early but it’s a trade off cause you get out earlier”
  • I think it’s too early because my last school started at 9 and still got out at 2

How does the current school start time affect you?

  • I have to wake up really early and I don’t have a lot of time to sleep.
Even though he will not be affected, he thinks starting school at least an hour later will help students

Ryan T. –

Do you think school starts too early?

  • Yes school starts way too early for me. I think most to all students would benifit from a later school schedule

How does the current school start time affect you?

  • Because of how early school starts it has affected my sleep schedule greatly, which impacts my grades and ability to perform in school and sports
  • With schools’ early start time I lose much needed sleep as I’m not a morning person and have to wake up earlier to compensate that causes me to fall asleep during important classes and lectures in school and leads me to staying up late at night to learn it myself as to stay on track. This creates a vicious cycle where I’m constantly tired and stressed
  • “I think students overall would like school starting later”

Graham Y. –

Do you think school starts too early?

  • No, I do not. I believe that the start time for school is fine as I do sports after school, sometimes work after school, and I like to have my free time after school.
  • “I’d rather have my afternoon free.”

How does the current school start time affect you?

  • It gives me lots of time after school for activities such as soccer, work, and homework.

Mady T. –

Do you think school starts too early?

  • No. I’m a morning person and if school started later that means we’d get out later, and I enjoy having the later half of my dad to myself.

How does the current school start time affect you?

  • I’m a little tired in the morning sometimes but I’d still rather be tired than have to get out of school later

Perrin D. –

Do you think school starts too early?

  • Yes. It is way too early.

How does the current school start time affect you?

  • It requires me to wake up incredibly early, causing me to not be 100% focused in my classes.

    Waipuna says that it it difficult to do school work when he is so tired.

Waipuna G. –

Do you think school starts too early?

  • Yes, I think it does 

How does the current school start time affect you?

  • Not enough time to sleep. I normally use most of my time after school to study until 10-12pm. It would be nice if school would start later to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep.