Starting School Later

Rachael Speck, Features Editor

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The two most important reasons pulled from the article include that sleep improves the overall health of the student which then correlates to their academic performance in the classroom. The author goes about writing the article solely based on facts and statistics from very credible sources which makes the argument strong and valid. The first biological explanation for why the body’s sleep cycle is off is because there, “ is delayed timing of nocturnal melatonin secretion across adolescence that parallels a shift in circadian phase preference from more “morning” type to more “evening” type, which consequently results in difficulty falling asleep at an earlier bedtime” (  This scientifically clarifies the reason as to why adolescents struggle with waking up so early and that there is such a push for schools to implement the later start time. In addition, the more sleep students get the better they perform academically, and there are studies to prove that. In 2014 there was a study done in a Chicago public high school regarding the change to a later start and how that corresponds with the test scores. Throughout the study the data showed that there was a significant improvement with the test scores after the school changed their start time from 7:35 to 8:15 am. All in all, adolescents biologically need more sleep if the schools want to see an improvement in the classroom.  

To get into the obstacles the first one would be the transportation,“ the specific circumstances in each district vary, but problems that arise can include cost, recruiting drivers, and/or redesigning the route” ( Another reason the author was against later starts were because of the conflicts with after school activities which include, less time for outdoor sports with the sunlight, and how students would need to leave school early for matches and games to accommodate the schools that do not have a later start time. Finally, the last reason the article stated was aligning the start time with the teachers schedule. The main argument for this reason was that if there are later start times that means the teachers will have less time spent for their family. This could affect whether or not they would want to work for a certain school district due to the change. In the end, these are the major obstacles faced which include, transportation issues, after school activities, and teachers family time cut short for pushing the start time back.  

The intended outcome of the reform is that we get schools across the nation to move their start times. There are a lot of benefits that will help students and teachers.