Pros and Cons of a Permanent 10 AM Start Time

Student Perspectives on a Later Start to School

Xander Coomes, Staff Writer

Historically, parents have wanted their kids to sleep more. They try to implement this, whether that be through having their children to go to sleep earlier, or removing screens before bed. However, some parents, such as social scientist Wendy Troxel, a psychology professor at the University of Pittsburg,  suggest a different method would be more effective: starting school later. However, would a later start time to school actually work? Currently, PCS’s distanced learning begins at 10:00a.m. Therefore, it is the perfect time to gather information on the effects of a later start. So, what do students at PCS think about it? Some students take advantage of their mornings and extra free time. Nathan, a junior at PCS has a unique morning routine. “I wake up, I watch some TV and then I do math or outside of school academic work.“ Molly Gannon, a sophomore also makes use of the extra time. “I get up at 7 and then I go work out and I take a shower and I make my smoothie. I have a whole routine that I do, so I have like 3 hours from when I get up until school actually starts.” Although some students make use of the extra time in the morning, others bring up concerns about a late start. Andres August discusses how his parents’ work may be disrupted if a later start were implemented post-COVID. “My parents start work earlier, so I would probably just end up getting dropped off earlier.” Marco Panzardi brings up a different point: “I wake up at 9:59 a.m. so . . .  I value my time more after school then before school.” Moreover, Tea Scotti – Normandin, a 10th grader has had drastic changes to her sleep: “It completely messed up my sleep schedule. I’m going to bed way later,” she said. With a later mandatory wake up time, some students have simply been shifting their sleep schedules so they are going to bed and waking up later. Though the 10:00 start would be nice for some, it would disrupt the lives of others and might create different problems if continued during in-person school. Various stress factors associated with coronavirus, or the fires could be the cause of students staying up later, and the 10:00 a.m.  start may not be the only factor changing students’ lives right now. Furthermore, students’ study habits could have shift because of a new academic schedule enforced by the school. Clearly, instituting a later start to the school day isn’t as simple as it seems.