Late start to school day greatly needed

The Prowler Staff

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Lately, it seems in school the more sleep deprived teens are, the harder time they have learning and interacting with others during the day. A possible solution being debated in several school districts across the nation is the benefits of having a late start to the day.

District 202 needs to take part in these discussions and change the school start time to 8:30 a.m.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, sleep is not the luxury that adults seem to interpret it to be. It is actually a biological need that feeds the developing mind during puberty which is ironic since teens have been shown to be getting the least amount of it out of all age groups.

Teenagers need approximately 9 ¼ hours of rest in order to get the necessary fuel to power through the day, but on average, they get much less. In a recent study, approximately half of North students are getting five hours or less of sleep at night.

Failure to receive the needed amount of sleep can lead to problems such as focusing, drowsy driving, depression and irritability as well as not being able to handle stress.

The late start alleviates drowsy driving because students have more time to sleep, and it will be light outside, so it will make driving easier for inexperienced drivers.

Waking up and going to school when the sun is out is better than heading out at the crack of dawn because it helps students wake up without fear of falling asleep during lessons, and they are more able to face the day.  Late starts can also improve other senses than just sight and awareness.

More sleep can make focusing on what teachers are saying easier and improve memorization. When that happens, test taking is simpler and actually boosts students’ grades.

Late starts can be useful to both students by allowing them to catch up on at least some of the required hours of sleep each night. It may not cover all of the hours, but it certainly brings people closer to them.

Also, most students stay up late into the night studying for quizzes and tests to make sure they know the material they are learning, and their teachers are also staying awake to grade all those assignments.

Besides, many Illinois high school districts start their days at a later time than Plainfield high schools. North begins its day with a warning bell ringing at 7 a.m. with the official start to first period following five minutes later.

Last May, Libertyville confirmed that they would have a late start for the 2018-2019 school year with first period in most high schools beginning at 8:45 a.m. each day not counting Early Bird which starts at 8:22 a.m.

More and more school districts are beginning to adopt late start times according to Start School Later Healthy Hours, an online program that looks into why late school start times are needed, with school districts in around 44 states agreeing to instate the push back or already have.

Overall, the late start option is beneficial to everyone at North, and any pushback on it is unnecessary since it helps create a better learning environment and improves the health of students attending the institution.

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