2017-06-23 / Letters

A student’s view of later start times

To the editor:

As a sophomore attending Scarborough High School, I have dealt with my fair share of late start times. In fact, this year they made late starts every Wednesday and I won’t lie, they have been one of the many things pushing me through the school year.

Being able to sleep in and relax in the morning is very refreshing, however, some things are best only in small amounts.

I am a member of chorus and with the regular ending time, I get home between 3:45 and 4 p.m. Now, I do like to spend time with my family and I have come to realize that eating dinner is important, so because of that I don’t start my homework until 5:30 or even 6 p.m. on those nights.

The recommended amount of sleep for teenagers is nine to 12 hours, so if I wanted to get the minimum amount of recommended sleep I would only have three hours for homework.

This may sound like ample time, but as a student taking two Advanced Placement and two honors classes, homework takes me at least four hours. Even on a regular night, I do not get the recommended amount of sleep, which also means that if school started later my schedule would be the same, just pushed back a few hours.

I have a friend who has younger sibling. Her parents both work and they rely on her to pick up her siblings from sports practice and babysit them when they get home from school.

This would not be possible if she got out later than her younger siblings, which would be a consequence of later start times for high school students.

Making start times later would wreak havoc on parents who work fulltime; busses are already on short supply in our district and changing start times would mean students getting rides from parents would stop. Sometimes this means that the student has no ride to school, which would increase absences.

For most students, the only way they are able to go to the movies or have fun with their friends is to use money they earn with their jobs.

Some students’ jobs contribute to their family’s income, and with later start times the amount of time that students can work dramatically decreases, which can make a big impact on their daily life.

Also, with extracurriculars and sports, students would not only have no time for balancing their schoolwork and their jobs, but they would not even have much time for their families. I already am stuck in my room for most of the afternoon doing homework, and with later start times, this would be prolonged.

In summary, the pros for later school start times do not outweigh the cons and the idea of implementing this in two years is not worth it, in the eyes of someone who is personally affected by it.

Jacqueline DeQuattro
Scarborough

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