The Push For Later School Start Times

Story by Emma DeLaRosa, Staff Writer/Co-Editor

At the Stonington Board of Education meeting on December 12, 2019, there was a board presentation that proposed a change in school start times.

The proposal was to change the school start times at each school level, particularly switching the high school and elementary school’s start time. Stonington High School Principal Mark Friese and West Vine Street School Principal Alicia Dawe presented a PowerPoint Presentation on the matter and shared their research regarding the topic. Some of their research highlighted that high school students stay up later and noted the behavior of younger students toward the end of the day.

The board agreed that this issue deserves more consideration and that it is worthwhile to discuss. Furthermore, Student Government Representative Alexandra Kapell gave her input and agreed that later start times would significantly benefit the students.

Research has proven the benefits of later school start times. A study conducted by the University of Washington stated, “[Later start times] boosted the total amount of sleep on school nights for students from a media of six hours and 50 minutes, under the earlier start time, to seven hours and 24 minutes under the later start time.” This change has the potential to improve the lives of students, which is worth it in the long run.

As a student, I strongly support this change. I often do not get the amount of sleep that I should and it has become difficult to catch up on the lost rest. I have particularly noticed the benefits of the change because as a senior, I have the privilege of coming into school later with senior release when I have study hall in the morning. This has shown me how greatly a later school start time would benefit my everyday life.