Later Start Time Decreased Tardies at SHS

Over 2,000 fewer tardies reported at SHS

Chloe Don and Halle McCormack

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This year at Scituate High School, the school start time was changed from 7:45 to 8:10 a.m. Despite this 25 minute difference, a group of concerned citizens is pressing the Scituate School Committee to consider starting school (especially middle school) even later. Start School Later Scituate, MA, would like to move the school start time to 8:30 a.m.

Start School Later promotes a change that many SHS students agree with–school needs to start at a later time to improve student performance and classroom attendance.

At Scituate High School, there were more than 6000 tardies recoded from September to March during the 2016-2017 academic year. This school year (2017-2018) there were 4,000 tardies recorded during the same time period, 2000 fewer tardies than the previous year. This means students are spending more time in their morning classes. Many students arrive just minutes late, which creates a line to check in with office. Start School Later hopes a later start would enable students to arrive on time and be prepared for class. Students who are typically on time would have more free time in the morning and additional time to sleep.

Students who oppose the idea of starting school at 8:30 a.m. believe giving high school students more time in the morning will only push students to start their activities later. If high school sports start later, students will start homework later and go to bed later. High school students procrastinate, and they will start their homework later in the evening. Many students go to bed late, so starting school later will not change their habits. Holding practices and club meetings in the morning would only defeat the purpose of the later start time.

The average teenager gets between 7 and 7 ¼ hours of sleep, according to Nationwidechildrens.org. However, they need between 9 and 9 ½ hours. According to Start School Later, only 15% of teenagers are getting the recommended amount of sleep.

Sleep deprived student drivers are at a greater risk for having car accidents. For example, Kentucky schools that moved their start time to 8:30 a.m. saw their teen car crash rate drop by 16 percent. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among teenagers. When students wake up extremely early to get to school on time, they get into their car very tired. If the time is moved to 8:30 a.m. more students would wake up feeling refreshed, decreasing the probability of accidents caused by drowsy driving.

 

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Later Start Time Decreased Tardies at SHS