Say Good-bye to 8:10


Sydney Asencio, Staff Writer

It’s no secret that most high school students struggle to earn their recommended eight hours of sleep.  The average student tends to prioritize their sports practices, club meetings, loads of homework, and various social events over sleep.  The school district recognized this predicament and made definitive choices in hopes of reducing the population of tired kids in school.  Starting in the 2018-2019 school year, the new start time for secondary students will be 8:40am.  The thirty minute adjustment may not seem like much, but its ramifications are monumental.  Personally, I don’t think it’s worth it.

I appreciate the intentions in the action to switch the school schedule.  It’s extremely evident that State High students lack sleep, but I feel as if a later start time isn’t the solution.  The same option of sleeping or staying up exists, just with a different increment of a half hour.  This sentiment seems to be a theme among students when told about the proposal.  Freshman Owen Nasal said, “I’ll be able to get more sleep but I think there’s a big chance for other teenagers to stay up later, resulting in no change.”  

Because after school activities, like the aforementioned homework epidemic, are just as time consuming, students won’t have any extra free time with the updated schedule.  Jared Lynes, another freshman at State High, said, “I think teenagers will stay up even later and do whatever they want, but that’s their choice to be tired and perform worse in school.”  Bad habits are tough to alter.  It’s likely that many students will end up pushing back their bedtime, causing the transformed schedule to be entirely ineffective in principle.

A substantial rebuttal to the proposal was student athlete’s schedules.  It’s quite common for those who play sports to be absent for multiple periods of school on a regular basis.  Because games for sports like field hockey, soccer, and tennis all start at 4:00pm, athletes will miss even more school time.  Although the school board is vigorously working to have later game times, nothing has been confirmed for away matches.  Freshman and soccer player Matias Mostafa said that, “anyone who plays sports will lose education time, making it harder for sports players to keep up good grades.”  

As a partial fix, a “zero period” option has been announced.  This would take place before first period and offers additional instruction time for those who need it.  Because there is a limited number of classes available during this period, I feel that this isn’t enough.  It forces busy athletes and others with protracted activities to sign up for “zero period” in order to miss as little class as possible.  Waking up early to participate in this chunk of time before first block directly opposes the primary goal for changing the schedule: sleep.  Therefore, no benefits are reaped and no progress is made.

Although there is potential for advancements, it seems that the plan to have school from 8:40am until 3:40pm is mostly underdeveloped.  However, if you happen to be a student concerned with this matter, I would recommend giving it a chance.  When State High initially replaced eight periods with block scheduling, most were not pleased.  Now, many members of the student body view block scheduling as a positive change.  If all else fails, the length of the school day with the new schedule is six whole minutes shorter.  That’s always a good thing.