Point: Schreiber should have a later start time

Ezra Loewy, Contributing Writer

For years, the majority of schools around the country have started between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m.  Simultaneously, experts have questioned this practice because of the negative impact it has on students.  Students can miss out on sleep, develop strange eating habits, and force families to make sacrifices to properly care for their children. .  The current school schedule makes little sense in regards to broader aspects of society and education itself. 

First, students don’t get enough sleep.  For good mental and physical health, the amount of sleep a student gets can be quite influential, both positively and negatively, on their performance.  Getting eight hours of sleep is recommended for high schoolers, but few are able to do so.  The rapid acceleration of the pressures placed on high school students and the intensification of the college admissions process has made sleep  more important as well as  more elusive.  Students stay up later doing school work and have less time to recover.  This has led to detrimental effects on students.

“Since I struggle with going to bed prior to 12 a.m. on a daily basis, along with having to wake up for school at around 6 a.m., I am concerned about the amount of sleep I get due to the scary implications of not getting the proper amount of sleep.  I believe that starting school later would give me the opportunity to get that necessary amount of sleep,” said freshman Max Baum.

Simply put, high school has changed tremendously not just because of the pandemic but because of broader social and emotional pressures that students face.  As a result, schools must adapt with it and provide students an environment that is conducive to mental and physical health, something more sleep would surely do. 

Another reason school should start later is because of the burden it places on parents to find childcare.  For parents working a traditional 9 to 5, both pre- and post- pandemic, childcare has been a concern.  The school hours of 8 to 3 simply do not  line up with the work schedule of most Americans.  Instead, parents have been forced to pay out of pocket for childcare during the time it takes for them to come home from work.  Nowadays, when elementary school students come home, their parents may be working remotely.  Needing to take care of their child and work at the same time can cause distraction and stress, which happens to be a main argument for school reopenings.  Moving the school day back an hour or two could do wonders to bridge the gap between the schedules of children and parents. 

“It’s a problem that the school schedule places a burden on working parents to find childcare that wouldn’t be necessary with a simple change in hours.  Childcare can be prohibitively expensive, and at the extreme level could lead to families needing to sacrifice income to be able to take care of their kids.  Changing the timing of the school day would easily solve this problem,” said freshman Jai Dhillon. 

Furthermore, having school start later would make lunch schedules actually make sense.  Students at Schreiber with 3.1 lunch eat at 10:30 a.m., which in most places is considered breakfast.  If school started an hour later, students would be eating at a much more reasonable time, 11:30 a.m.  This would lead to more consistency in students’ eating schedules and allow school lunch to provide a meal that is more distinct from breakfast.

“Having 3.1 lunch is always weird, because I feel like I only ate breakfast moments before.  It’s a jarring experience coming back from a break or the summer, when lunch is eaten closer to noon and contains a bigger meal.  Having lunch at a more normal time is a pretty easy way for school to reflect the real world and improve the lives of students,” said freshman Parikshith Hebbar.