High School Start Times: Should Central New York Teens Be Allowed to Sleep In?
Every parent has struggled with getting their kids out of bed for school. Science says that's no surprise. Should CNY schools change their start times?
In many Central New York school districts, elementary school starts after 8am, while middle and high schools start around 7am. If you've got a child in JH or HS, you know how tough it is for them to wake up. It all has to do with their natural sleep cycles - as kids get older, it's hard for them to fall asleep before 11pm, and tough for them to get up before 8am. In fact, the American Academy of Sleep Studies formally advocates for JH and HS start times no earlier than 8:30am.
During adolescence, internal circadian rhythms and biological sleep drive change to result in later sleep and wake times. As a result of these changes, early middle school and high school start times curtail sleep, hamper a student’s preparedness to learn, negatively impact physical and mental health, and impair driving safety. Furthermore, a growing body of evidence shows that delaying school start times positively impacts student achievement, health, and safety. Public awareness of the hazards of early school start times and the benefits of later start times are largely unappreciated.
One CNY school district is taking a serious look at start times. Fayetteville-Manlius School District is working with a consultant to examine whether their high school and intermediate school students should get a later start time.
"Fayetteville-Manlius High School currently starts at 7:45 in the morning while the middle schools begin teaching at 8 a.m. A tough start for teens and for the parents that have to wake them up," reports CNYCentral.com.
So why not just switch the start times?
Well, there are issues ranging from bussing schedules and extra-curricular activities and sports that would need to be addressed - and that's part of what F-M hopes to examine by taking a long look at the potential impact of such a change.
What do you think? Should kids get to sleep in a little bit? Would you be willing to go later with sports if you knew it could help your child perform better in school and life?