Should School Start Times be Pushed Later?


Lexi Parent, Staff Writer

This past week the Melrose School Committee voted to push back start times at Melrose Middle and High Schools. They voted for school to begin at 8:15 a.m. begining in the fall of 2017. Currently classes begin at 7:45 a.m. The school day for the high and middle schools will end at 2:40 p.m. Along with this comes the movement of the start times of Melrose’s elementary schools from 8:15 a.m. to 7:45 a.m. This major change in one of our surrounding towns  has created much talk in Wakefield to whether our school times will be changing too.

A major factor in the opinions of youths at Wakefield High School is sports and other extracurricular activities. If Wakefield does not change their start time as well, all extracurricular activities will have difficulty coordinating with our surrounding towns due to the multiple differences in ending times. If Wakefield does change their start time, the end time will change as well which will cause practices, games, and other activities to start later. Is this better or worse for students? Each individual will have a different opinion on this as a result of their sleep schedule. Some people will enjoy having these activities later because they enjoy to stay up later and wake up later, but others will not want to have these activities this late because they want to be able to wake up early and begin their day.

With this discussion, there has been much scientific information that has come up proving that students need this sleep. Scientific studies have shown that students function more effectively with even just an additional hour of sleep. In addition to this, students often struggle with finding enough time to sleep because of extracurricular activities, work, loads of homework, and other responsibilities. Balancing all of these aspects of a high school student’s life is extremely difficult and even more difficult when low on sleep. Students often struggle to focus all day in school if they are falling asleep or too tired. With this additional sleep, students will hopefully be able to be better rested, therefore; performing better in school. I also believe that the test grades will increase if the school times are changed because students will be better rested and also have more time to study and prepare for these exams.

There are many changes that will come out of this because even just that short change o time in the morning will change a student’s entire day. I believe that all us students could definitely use that extra time in the morning. Even though we will be having activities later in the day, we are typically up late anyway because of homework and other assignments, so this extra time in the morning to sleep will be a major game changer. Student’s need this sleep, but also need to compare with all of our surrounding towns to create a more efficient schedule. I believe that with all of the changes occurring in surrounding towns, Wakefield will join the change and push the start times of school back. Would you like the start times of school to be pushed back?