AHS is slowly easing back to its normal, pre-pandemic self, with students filling the halls once again. However, as the school makes the transition back, some things started by online learning should continue, such as the 9 am start.
High schoolers have larger workloads and later bedtimes than both younger children and are often up late doing schoolwork. According to Psychology Today, “38 studies found that delaying school start times helps young people to get significantly more sleep each night. As a result, students’ attendance and grades improved” There are multiple risks to returning to an 8 am start time. Teenagers would develop a higher risk of obesity, depression, and overall lack of motivation. A later start school-wide would allow children to perform better in school. Studies show that grade percentages rise, 4.5%, and an overall rise in attendance.
Some students are opposed to the later start because they would instead be released earlier to have more time in the afternoon. Kids worry about later practice times interfering with time to complete homework. However, a 9 am start would still allow for kids to pursue their after-school activities, as well as being able to get more sleep. Coaches of sports teams and leaders for extracurricular activities could schedule practices and events around the later start and work with students to help find a balance between school, sports, and extracurriculars.
As a student at AHS myself, I have benefited from a later start time. My mental health has significantly boosted. I have seen significant improvements in my mood, as well as my ability to focus in class. I have been able to pursue my after-school sports and activities as well as maintaining a social life. Before the nine starts, I would miss the first period more often than I would like to admit due to lack of sleep. The later start ensured that I would get more sleep, making it easier for me to make it to all my classes.
AHS has proved that they are capable of 9 starts. I think it is beneficial to all members within the district. Hopefully, I’ll see you all at 9am each day, at the beginning of the 2021 school year!