Late Start vs. Early Release


Robert Gonzales

October 16, 2019 marked the day Wednesday late start was replaced with early dismissal due to PSAT testing.

Robert Gonzales, Journalist

Wednesday schedule for Oct.16,2019 Photo by: Robert Gonzales

Do you find yourself struggling to wake up in the morning? It may not always be that you are lazy and could instead be that you are legitimately tired. Throughout campus, it is undoubtedly known that every Wednesday students have the privilege of late start, coming to school at 9:00 a.m. as opposed to the usual 7:40 a.m. start time. This week however, took a different approach to our familiar Wednesday schedule and students instead had early dismissal due to PSAT testing taking place. Naturally, the pros and cons of starting the school day at a later time undoubtedly have passionate defenders on both sides of the debate.

In many cases, poor sleep has caused an increased reliance on caffeine products. On campus, we’ve seen our students including myself tend to get a fair dosage of caffeine for a little kick to start the day. There is a direct link between sleep deprivations and a poor academic performance. Over time, poor sleep can increase the risk of developing an alcohol or tobacco dependency. It isn’t an issue of going to bed earlier for teens either. Even when kids are tired, they struggle to fall asleep earlier because their circadian rhythms are establishing their internal routine. Just delaying school by an hour may have a positive impact for a child’s education. Here are some of the key pros and cons to consider when looking at the idea of starting school later.

Avinash Singh (Senior) Photo by: Avinash Singh

When asking Avinash Singh, a senior on campus, how he feels about this week’s alternate Wednesday responded, “I remember last year having late start even though we had PSAT testing. This year I didn’t test again but I know for sure I would rather sleep in to rest up for something as important as PSAT testing.”

“The average teenager gets five hours of sleep when really the average teenager is supposed to get 7-8 hours of sleep,” according to Nationwide Children’s. I can personally confirm that a vast amount of students (including myself) on campus do not get the required sleep they need to perform efficiently throughout the day. And, those who come short of getting the sleep they need often times find themselves still feeling sluggish throughout the day.

Essentially, having late start simply means students could get the amount of sleep needed. According to another article by Health-line, “sleep deprivation can lead to stress, poor sleeping habits, and mood changes.” Added stress from not getting enough sleep and the stress of getting homework done can undeniably drop a student’s ability to focus. Every teacher wants their students to do well in class, but most students stay up late getting homework done or studying. Late start is a great way to help students get more sleep which can ultimately increase a student’s focus in school, especially those who took the PSAT. Katelyn Bonilla, a sophomore on campus claimed, “I perform so much better in all of my classes when I get enough sleep, especially on Wednesday late start. Late start tends to help me feel energized through school and even practice after school.”

There are clearly some benefits that would become possible to access with a later starting time. There are also some clear challenges that families, teens, and school districts would face when deciding to pursue this idea. It may not be right for every district, family, or student, but it may also be the perfect solution for those who are struggling with their education. For now though, it’s safe to say we’ll be sticking to the same old familiar schedule we all know.