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Later starts disrupt teen routines

Mackenzie Sendro, Staff Writer

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Although sleeping in sounds appealing to everyone, especially high school students, changing the start time for high school is unnecessary and not worth the hassle.
Some schools in Allegheny County, such as Quaker Valley, are joining others nationwide in pushing school start times back. In doing so, administrators are caving into the students’ complaints about early start times.
Further, administrators are always the first to give the “preparation for the real world” speech to students. But by pushing start times back further, they are not preparing students for the real world. Employees in many fields begin their days before 8 a.m.
The only logical advantage to pushing school start times back is to give students the opportunity to get the full eight hours of sleep that is suggested for them to be fully engaged each day. However, pushing back the start time still will not guarantee that students will take advantage of that extra time to get more sleep.
Also, many schools, like Baldwin, require seven- hour school days. Since that is unlikely to change, starting the day later would affect after-school activities as well.
If sports and activities start later, they also will end later. This will leave students with less time to do homework unless they stay up later — which means they would end up getting the same amount of sleep they’re getting now.
Besides after-school activities, many students have jobs that occupy their time.
Letting students out of school later than neighboring districts will put students at risk of being passed over by employers, who might hire students elsewhere who are available earlier.
To avoid any kind of conflict or disagreement, administrators should not waste their time focusing on smaller issues such as start times. Instead, they should focus on bigger matters like catering to individual students’ learning needs and their learning environment.

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Later starts disrupt teen routines