School Day Should Start Later

Teresa Hutchinson

For teenagers, waking up in the morning is like swimming against a current and staying awake is almost an impossible task.

Many students have issues with the time that school starts. This is not just a Glenwood problem. There have been multiple studies that show schools that start later have improved students academic scores.

According to, teenagers generally experience a sleep phase delay. This means they stay awake later in the night and wake up later in the morning. This is still a pressing issue that needs to be acknowledged. If the administration could push the beginning of school back just an hour, it would improve students’ academic performances.

The main reason schools start at 8 a.m. and end at 3:24 p.m. seems to be for sports, so there is time to prepare for their games and go to practices. According to, sports are a large portion as to why school starts so early, but it is also apparent that transportation is another reason for the early start. The bus schedules to many school districts use the same buses for the elementary and high school students, so if the schools decided to delay the start times they would have to delay the elementary schools’ as well or hire additional bus drivers.

I understand the reason why schools have to work around sports, but why does the administration allow the school to be managed by sports when there are other extra curricular activities that also require the time school takes?

The current school start times are unfair to the students. Why is our school, and all the other schools, basing their students schedules on something as irrelevant as extracurricular activities when their academics are at risk? Are sports more important than academics?

According to, if an adolescent doesn’t get enough sleep, they are more likely to become overweight, not engage in daily physical activities, suffer from symptoms of depression and engage in unhealthy behaviors such as drinking, smoking and using drugs.

It is understandable that one of the perks to an early school morning is the potential preparation for early morning jobs later in life. However, in order to achieve career goals, students need to first complete high school.

According to, the early day also affects instructors. GCHS instructors are required to arrive early in order to fully prepare the lessons for the day, not to mention the morning duties all instructors are required to do at some point. Instructors must take much of their work home.

Recently, the students at GCHS took part in a survey regarding their average sleeping times. The results showed 60 percent of the 248 respondents go to sleep between 10-11 p.m. and 66 percent wake up between 6-7 a.m. Studies have shown that teenagers need nine hours of sleep to be at their best; however, it seems most students only sleep seven to eight hours.

With all this information which should have already been analyzed or at least looked at by the administration, it is extremely apparent that school should start at a later time.

This is a national scale problem with all fifty states’ schools starting around 8 a.m. Schools need to change, and why not start in Glenwood.