School Should Start Later

Between pop quizzes, essay deadlines and lengthy sport practices, high school can be a stressful time for students. Having school start later will allow students to catch up on sleep and homework, and improve school performance. Pushing back the start of school just 30 minutes later would make a world of difference in the busy lives of Portola students.

“I think the biggest problem, especially in Irvine, is that students are pressured with extracurricular activity as well as honors classes, so more sleep could potentially lead to better student health,” ASB vice president, and swim team captain and sophomore Jason Chen said.

While students need extra time to sleep in the mornings, teachers would also benefit from a later school start.

“I think that we would see more participation in our students,” chemistry teacher and girls soccer coach Jeralyn Jelnick said. “[In] first period [students’] bodies aren’t fully going; they haven’t fully woken up. Also, from a teacher’s perspective, I would be more prepared for my day by having more time in the morning.”

People who are happy with starting school later early argue that students lose learning time.  However, the school day will still remain the same length. For example, students could start school at 9 a.m. and finish at 4 p.m, the only difference now being that each class would be shortened by about seven to eight minutes.

Sports would not be affected by this change, as most teams begin practice during seventh and eighth period. This would lead to more productivity and engagement in students during the school day.

Additionally, studies show that a student’s daily performance is hindered by starting too early.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, “Teens spend a great portion of each day in school; however, they are unable to maximize the learning opportunities afforded by the education system, since sleep deprivation impairs their ability to be alert, pay attention, solve problems… and retain information.”

Students and staff alike would benefit from having later school starts, and it would alleviate stress for students and thus improve their general health. Starting later would transform Portola High’s atmosphere and student experience for the better; who would not want that?