Early morning classes not good for teens

The Orator Staff

The alarm goes off at 6 a.m. and most reach for their phone to hit the snooze button. It’s a feeling of sweet bliss when the silence is restored. The alarm goes off again just ten minutes later, it’s time to start the day.

This is the reality for us high school students since we are required to be in class by 7:40 a.m.

Other districts in the area start later. Millard high schools, for example, start at 8:45 a.m. on Mondays and 8 a.m. during the rest of the week.
Omaha Public Schools should do the same. It would help students and staff members mentally and physically.

Organizations such as the American Psychological Association (APA) and the American Medical Association (AMA) have conducted studies and determined that school, at the earliest, should start at 8 a.m.

Going along with the APA’s research, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, says adolescents who do not get enough sleep are more likely to engage in smoking tobacco, drinking alcohol and drug use at an early age. Some suffer from depressive symptoms and many perform poorly in their schoolwork all because of not getting enough sleep every night.

If we just push start times back by a half hour, students’ academic success would increase. People are always researching ways to help set students up for success, but the solution has been in front of their faces this whole time.

Delaying the time we start would also help increase our attendance rates.

According to a study done by Pamela McKeever and Linda Clark of Central Connecticut State University, out of 29 high schools across the country, the average attendance rate went from 90 percent to 94 percent with later start times.

With Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Logan’s Strive for 95 attendance goal, it would only make sense to push start times by a half an hour.
Pushing all levels: elementary, middle school and high school start times each a half hour wouldn’t be that difficult of an adjustment. It might even make it easier for elementary school parents to pick their children up after work since it would be later in the day.

School start times are not decided at the federal or state level, but rather at the district or individual school level, so it is completely up to OPS to make the call and right now is the perfect time to do it.

If we want to continue to improve as a school and as a district we need to advocate for later times. Not just to have healthier students, but also to assist in improving our schools.