School should start later, and the district should move to block scheduling

Cassidy Miller

As of now, school hours are from 7:15 in the morning to 2:20 in the afternoon for high school students. We, at Stroudsburg, start school too early; we end our day at school at a reasonable time, but starting early is the problem. Studies show that the human brain isn’t fully alert until late morning and early afternoon. Even some German and American schools made the change to start school in the later morning. From this they experienced improved scores on exams and reduced rates of truancy and depression.

Professor Russell Foster, an Oxford University scientist who conducted this specific study, says that “It is cruel to impose a cultural pattern on teenagers that makes them underachieve.” Foster also believes that forcing teenagers to “turn up to school in the morning” could result in more errors, poor memory, reduced motivation and depression. This Oxford scientist also found that the time at which children become fully awake gets progressively later as they get older. He believes that schools should not start until 11:00 in the morning because before that, it would leave students in sort of a “jet-lag” state. I believe that 11:00 is too late to start school, but starting school at 10:00 would be a more reasonable option. This also coincides with my next topic.

Along with classes starting at 10:00, I believe we should have blocked classes. Block classes are similar to college schedules. Ai??In college they have 3 or 4 certain classes on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and the other classes on Tuesday and Thursday. Since the Tuesday and Thursday classes would only meet twice a week instead of three times, these classes could be longer than the classes on the alternating days of the week. By doing this there would be more of a responsibility on the student to finish his/her work and an expectation of them to understand the material and ask for help during their classes when they didn’t understand something, but it also prepares students for college life. In college, this is how life is: only have certain classes on certain days. These changes could improve student health, as well as prepare students for the future. Along with the start time, it would improve test scores, student attitude, and reduce truancy.

In conclusion, starting school later in the morning would reduce the tiredness in students, make them more aware and prepared, improve their health, reduce truancy, grades would be improved and there would be more expected of the students. I think that it’s a really good idea to consider; it could be a more effective way of education. Also, it wouldn’t make students hate going to school so much.

Cassidy Miller