Why High School Should Start Later In The Morning

Why Should High Schoolers Have To Wake Up So Early?


For FCPS bus transportation, the buses are reused for each school level. High school buses start first, then pick up middle school students, then elementary students. Because of the reused buses, high school students have to be at their bus stop as early as 6:30 AM. Brunswick High’s bell rings at 7:20 AM and students are expected to be in their first block class rooms by 7:30 AM. The middle schoolers at Middletown are expected to be in class by 8:47 AM. The elementary students are expected to be in class by 9:30 AM. I would propose the high school starts last to allow its students to sleep in a little longer which would also help with their overall health and educational practice. Teenagers need 9-10 hours of sleep every night and studies show that up to 70% of teenagers don’t get that, if school started a hour or two later, that could decrease those numbers.


Sleep Deprivation Effects (Courtesy of Google Images Creative Commons)

A few problems arose when the question was asked why high school should start later.

It would benefit the teenagers’ mental awareness and education practice during the day to not start so early. 

Some families wouldn’t need to hire before care to get Elementary-aged students on the bus before school.

Some people did say if the school day starts later, the school day will also end later which can cause problems for the students’ activities.

School sports practice at Brunswick takes place after school which is around 2:30 PM and can last for almost three hours ending at 5:15-30 PM, while other students have clubs, committees, and activities, that may require them to stay after school for a period of time. Other students have jobs or other responsibilities they will have to attend to after school. If Brunswick HS started at 9:30 AM instead, the day wouldn’t end until around 3:30 which is not much later yet this “after school activities ending too late” problem is still too much.

Another problem adults see is students staying up later if the school day were to start later. For me, it doesn’t matter the time I wake up, if it’s bright out I wake up much faster. In the winter when it’s darker in the morning I struggle through my first block because the bus ride doesn’t help wake me up. I’m much more awake in the early fall and spring because it’s brighter out earlier. If school started later, it would be brighter and this can help students wake up regardless. 

I do think it’s unfair how early young adults and blossoming teenagers have to wake up and be expected to be alert and ready by the time school starts while children of the ages 6-11 who do not need as much sleep yet, get to sleep in longer. I think it would be beneficial and reasonable to switch the HS and elementary schools bus schedules for a more fair sleep schedule for each school.