Why School Should Start Later


Photo by Josh Berg

Article by Gianna Isenberg, Writer

Reading Time: 2 minutes

I walk down the hall to my first-period class every day and see the same thing: zombie-like teenagers lazily walking into their classes. But, who can blame them? It’s 8 a.m. and we’re on our way to learn for the next 7 hours. I know I am not the only one sick of this feeling.

A study performed in 2017 by the University of Washington investigated two high schools with different starting times. The first school had a start time of 7:50 am, while the other school began at 8:45 a.m. They gave 92 students from the first school and 88 students from the second school a wristband to track their hours of sleep. The one similarity between the two sets of students was that they were all taking the same Biology course. 

After about seven months of monitoring the students’ sleep, the students who went to the school with a later start time had an increase of approximately 34 minutes of sleep compared to the earlier starting school’s students. Not only did the students attending the school with a later start time get more sleep, but, by the end of the year, those students had an average 4.5 percent higher score on their Biology final at the end of the semester than students who had an earlier start time in school. 

This study shows that pushing the start time of school to later into the morning by a meager 55 minutes allows students to get more sleep at night, and might well improve their overall test scores. I strongly believe that pushing back the start time of school will benefit almost every student attending ASIJ.

In addition to the student benefits, having school start later will also be beneficial to school staff— specifically, the bus staff. According to Mr. Krauth, Director of Transportation, the bus drivers depart the ASIJ campus at 5:15 every morning. This is a brutally early hour. He states, “I think the bus drivers would be able to leave a little later if school started later in the day.” 

Although pushing back the start time at ASIJ to later in the morning will alter the current schedule of classes and force school to end later, it is abundantly clear that students and staff members in the community would greatly appreciate a later start to our mornings.