Should School Start So Early?


Photo credit: Maks Styazhkin on Unsplash

Anna Akhobadze

Nobody likes waking up early, but the start times for American schools are on average over an hour earlier than recommended, and these times have real effects on students and parents. Many schools are forced to start early because of school bus schedules and extracurriculars. As a consequence, parents of young students who don’t participate in these extracurriculars are forced to find ways to supervise their children when their work day doesn’t end for another few hours. In addition, students who get an inadequate amount of sleep are more likely to be overweight, participate in dangerous activities, and perform worse academically than those who sleep the recommended eight hours. 

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that schools start at 8:30 or later, but 80% of middle schools and 93% of high schools in the U.S. start before that time, according to the 2014 School Health Studies and Practices. Just over three years ago, the state of California took action by pushing the start times for middle school to be no earlier than 8:00 and no later than 8:30 for high schools. On the other hand, South Korea has an average school start time of before 8:00 and many students take classes at night, leading to even less sleep. The country has one of the highest suicide rates in the world.

While having school start later is better for many people involved with the school, it is ultimately the school’s decision to make and sometimes it just isn’t possible. For example, at Lower Moreland, many after-school sports would have to end later, and during the winter, this might mean having to end after it becomes pitch dark outside. In addition, Lower Moreland buses, like many across the U.S., make runs for multiple schools every day, and changing the start times could conflict with bus schedules. Even though having later school start times seems to be a good idea for the general public, when it comes down to individual people and schools, it might not be feasible.


Works Cited

Hauser, Christine, and Isabella Kwai. “California Tells Schools to Start Later, Giving Teenagers 

More Sleep.” The New York Times, The New York Times Company, 14 Oct. 2019, ‘

13 Dec. 2022


“Schools Start Too Early.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for 

Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, 5 Oct. 2022,


“Senate Bill No.328” California Legislative Information., 14 Oct. 2019

13 Dec. 2022