Keep SHS Start Time at 8:10 a.m.

Growing trend to begin high school at 8:30 a.m. should not be adopted in Scituate

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This year, Scituate High School saw a significant decrease in the number of students who arrived tardy to school.  According to attendance data collected from Aspen, there were nearly 2,000 fewer tardies this year in comparison to last year during the same time period:  From September through March, 4,687 students were late to school this year. Last year, 6,316 students were recorded as tardy during this same period. 

This decline in tardies could be partly attributed to this year’s staggered start times between the middle school and high school; however, it could also be related to the later start time for the high school. This year, school starts at 8:10 a.m., while last year, school started at 7:45 a.m.

Despite the improved attendance record at Scituate High School, the current movement to adjust the start to 8:30 a.m. (or later) should be stopped. The current start time should not be changed or compromised. If it is modified, the positive effect of a later start time could soon turn negative.

If school starts later, possibly to the time of a typical Wednesday late-start (9:17 a.m.), students will take time to get bagels and coffee and leisurely make their way to school. But this time of relaxation may be too relaxing, causing students to be late for school. Dawdling in the morning will be the source of increased frustration at SHS.

As two students who are involved in an array of sports and clubs, ranging from Best Buddies to field hockey, we feel committed to our teams and our group members. Academics must be a priority, but if the school start time is pushed even later, then the ability to juggle sports, clubs, jobs, and homework will become even more challenging. Some students may not even be able to participate in these sports and clubs, as well as jobs after school.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, one in four high school students worked after school in 2014. This means approximately 200 or more students at SHS hold a job and work after school on a regular basis. Pushing the school start time even later than 8:10 a.m. would result in less time to work after school, which would have a detrimental effect on students and families.

Along with jobs, sports and clubs, a later start time would also hinder parents who start their work day at 9:00 a.m.  Many parents drop off their high school students before they begin their daily commute to work.  An even later start time would inconvenience these families.

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Keep SHS Start Time at 8:10 a.m.