Public School Start Times Analysis

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In a 2012 survey of 39,700 American middle and high schools, the average starting time was 8:03 (Center for Disease Control). The American Academy of Pediatrics, an organization focused on the health of adolescents, suggests a starting time of no earlier than 8:30 for both middle and high schools, showing nearly a half-hour difference between the actual and recommended start time. The analysis of public school start times proves a disconnection between current start times and expert recommendations of an adequate time to start the day. A shocking 42 out of 50 states reported that between 75%-100% of public schools started before the recommended 8:30 (Center for Disease Control). This widespread break in the recommended start time has a profound …show more content…
Hundreds of students are bused to schools each day in school buses that pick them up at specific times. Bus drivers are constantly picking up a new group of kids to bring them to their respective buildings. Because the busing schedule is already so strict, there is no room for extra trips by the drivers. If the start times of only the high school were altered, it would affect the entire district, including other schools that were not meant to be affected (Griffin). The simplest solution would be to flip starting times instead of just changing them. Times throughout a district are already staggered, so it would make no difference to the schedule to switch which school begins at which time. This rescheduling makes sense because younger children, who currently have later school start times, are more likely to rise earlier in the morning ("Eight Major Obstacles to Delaying School Start Times."). This reversal of different school start times will avoid any problems related to busing and transportation. High Schoolers will be able to gain their extra hours of sleep, while younger children will have very little to no change in their sleep schedules. In addition to affecting students journey to school, teachers’ commutes are also affected. Teachers would most likely benefit from having a later arrival in the morning. Staff Members like …show more content…
A large number of juniors and seniors drive themselves to school each day. A common issue among teens is drowsy driving, due to sleep deprivation. Drowsy driving is dangerous, and often results in car accidents involving young, inexperienced drivers. A Wyoming high school pushed the start time to as late as 8:55 a.m.; consequently the number of crashes involving teenage drivers dropped by 70% (University of Minnesota). Experts explain the decrease as a result of less drowsy driving, therefore students are more alert behind the wheel. In Mahtomedi High School, a similar decrease was noticed, as there was a 65% drop in crashes involving 16-18 year olds (The legal driving age in the state is 16) (University of Minnesota). As students get more sleep, their safety on the road increases, and the safety of other drivers improves as well. The drop in crashes are a direct result of the change of start times in the district, as in one district average crash rates dropped 16.5% while the crash rates in the rest of the state rose by 7.8% (Danner & Phillips). The decrease in crash rates would increase the safety and security of young students on their way to school. It is the responsibility of each school to provide students with the safest learning environment possible. In order to provide safer road conditions, schools would need to open doors at a later time each morning. The

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