8 Pros and Cons of Changing School Start Times

The debate over changing school start times has been ongoing for years. Advocates of later start times argue that students will be more rested and alert, leading to improved academic performance, while opponents argue that it would disrupt schedules and negatively impact extracurricular activities. In this article, we’ll examine the pros and cons of changing school start times.

Table of Contents

Pros:

  1. Improved Academic Performance: Research has shown that students who get enough sleep perform better academically. By starting school later, students have the opportunity to get more sleep, leading to improved academic performance.
  2. Better Mental Health: Lack of sleep can lead to anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. By starting school later, students have more time to get enough sleep, leading to better mental health outcomes.
  3. Improved Attendance: Studies have shown that students are more likely to attend school when they get enough sleep. Starting school later would improve attendance rates and decrease absenteeism.
  4. Improved Safety: Students who are sleep-deprived are more likely to be involved in car accidents, particularly on their way to school. Starting school later would allow students to get more rest, leading to fewer accidents.

Cons:

  1. Disruption to Schedules: Changing school start times would require changes to bus schedules, extracurricular activities, and work schedules. These changes could be disruptive and inconvenient for families.
  2. Difficulty for Working Parents: Starting school later could make it difficult for working parents to drop off and pick up their children from school. If school starts later, parents may have to adjust their work schedules to accommodate this change.
  3. Increased Cost: Changing school start times could result in increased costs for schools, particularly in terms of transportation. Schools may need to purchase additional buses or hire additional drivers to accommodate the changes.
  4. Reduced Time for Extracurricular Activities: Starting school later would mean that school days would end later, potentially reducing the amount of time available for extracurricular activities such as sports and clubs.
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In conclusion, changing school start times has both advantages and disadvantages. While it may lead to improved academic performance and better mental health outcomes, it could also be disruptive to schedules, increase costs, and reduce the time available for extracurricular activities. Schools should carefully weigh the pros and cons before making a decision to change their start times.

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