The student news site of Fraser High School

The Flash

The student news site of Fraser High School

The Flash

The student news site of Fraser High School

The Flash

The Unfair Reality of American School Schedules.

The US is one of the few places that wakes up so early for school. While people here are used to it and don’t see an issue, evidence proves that it’s more beneficial for school to start later.

  Finnish students start their day at 9:00 to 9:45 AM, Italian students start at 8:15 AM, even rigorous academic systems such as China start at 8:00 AM. Us students in the United States, with an academic rating of 17th place, start as early as 7:05 AM. American students often need to wake up at 5:00 to 6:00 AM to have enough time to get ready for school and catch the bus. Truly, it’s no wonder kids are falling asleep in class so often.


   For years, Students have fought to earn later school start times. From petitions, to protests, to even the Start School Later movement, students are passionate about this cause.

   As far as the benefits of starting later, there are many. Studies have shown that teens need more sleep than adults so when looking at the evidence, the school schedule does not match up with their needs. For example, “A study by the National Sleep Foundation found that 87% of high school students and 59% of middle school students get less than the recommended amount of sleep daily on school nights.” 

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   The AAA state of play states that 2 out of 3 high school students don’t get enough sleep, and this problem is only progressing. While getting less sleep may not seem like a massive issue, it greatly affects not only students physical health, but also their mental health. Starting later in the day would benefit the students far more than the current schedule. The CDC states that later start times allow for better health, including prevention of weight gain, mental health issues, drug and alcohol abuse, and poor performance in school. Later start times allowed for better attendance and grades among students as well.   

   While there are many benefits of starting school later, there are definitely some drawbacks to the plan. One thing to consider is how the students get to school. Of course bussing exists, but not all students are eligible to take the bus, which leaves the parents to get their kids to and from school. Starting school later would make this a bit trickier, most parents go into work around the same time school currently starts, 7:00 am. Starting school later would make it harder for parents to get their kids to school because if the parent goes in at 6:30, but school starts at 8:00, how exactly would that work?

   The next thing to consider would be extracurricular activities and homework. These would have to run later then they currently do, allowing for less relaxation time for students. If school lets out at 3:00 PM and you eat dinner with your family at 6:00 PM, that leaves only 3 hours for any clubs or sports to participate in. Unless of course you are a student that wants to work extremely late. This is also not calculating in time for homework. Typically students spend a lot of time at home on homework, considering late activities, how could all of this possibly fit into one day? Students may be forced to lose sleep or pass up their after school activities just to keep up with their studies, and even then that wouldn’t leave much time for students to decompress and take relaxation time for themselves. 

   Speaking of homework, students all across America know how grueling homework is. Students in the USA get almost three hours of homework a night, and when it comes to juggling a job, sports, and trying to get free time, we all feel exhausted after some time.

   To start school later, you have to end school later as well. If students are feeling the stress here despite leaving school at 2:18, it’s only natural that students would feel the pressure… but more often than not, they don’t.

   A Canadian senior, with the Alias “Ano,” starts school at 9:00 AM and ends the day at 3:15, with an hour-long lunch in the middle. Their schedule is a Fraser student’s pipe dream, and they wouldn’t have it any different.

   “…I have so many issues waking up in the morning for school,” Ano said. They usually wake up around 8:00 AM, and said they couldn’t even imagine waking up at 5:00 or 6:00 AM for school.

   Extracurriculars and sports are also hardly an issue. Because everyone has the same hour lunch, clubs are held during that time. Unlike our sports, which last until deep into the afternoon, Ano’s sports games are held until 5 at the latest.

   As for getting to and from school, Canada has much more availability in terms of public transportation. Many students, Ano included, have their parents drive them with no issue, or can take a bus at a lower cost than older passengers.

   When we asked Ano how they felt about the American Public School System, their reaction only made sense.

   “It’s a little crazy…” Ano said, “I don’t think I’m physically able to wake up at 6:00 AM to go to school”

   Contrary to what a lot of School Board Administrators worry about, later school start times are not only possible, but actually benefit students. We as Fraser students long for a way to not only get more sleep, but also spend less time on school-related activities outside of school. Ano’s situation only proves that this is both possible and easy to accomplish.

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