Why Late Start Should Be Later

Why Late Start Should Be Later

Citlaly Gonzalez, Staff Writer

On a regular school day, like most students in the Hart District, Castaic students begin school at 8:30AM. In addition to this, every school in the district also has late-start days, with Castaic being the only high school in the valley that has late-start Fridays. This allows us to have an extra 25 minutes than usual. But what difference do those 25 minutes actually make? 

Late start Fridays are typically used for teacher and administrator meetings before the school day commences and take place every week. Though at times it is useful, teachers have complained that 25 minutes simply is not enough time for both meetings and preparing their daily plans for their classes which causes them to feel rushed.  

On Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, most schools in the valley start at about 7:00 for schools that offer first periods and 8:30 for all other students. However on Wednesdays they begin an hour later which gives them a starting time of around 9:30.

Students at other campuses across the Hart district have expressed that the extra hour they receive is beneficial. Late start allows them to get extra rest and complete tasks that they normally would not be able to do on a regular school day which increases overall daily productivity. 

Castaic students on the other hand have mentioned that the 20 minute difference does not have much of an impact. “I don’t think it’s long enough, it hardly makes a difference.” said Castaic junior Abby LeCheminant. Because it is such a short amount of time, sleeping in, grabbing something to eat, or completing an unfinished assignment from the night before is out of the question. 

Students are simply not getting enough sleep, and a later late start can change that. A study conducted by Nationwide Childrens Hospital has shown that high school students need an average of 9 hours of sleep but receive about 7. “Late start allows me to get more sleep and balance out my sleeping schedule, at night I’m usually up doing homework and don’t get proper sleep,” said Nick Gump, a junior at Valencia high school. Those who do begin school at least an hour later get about an hour of extra sleep, raising their average from 7 hours to 8 hours on their late start days. This can ultimately have a greater impact on their performance in school and their overall days.

Whether it be sleeping in, having more time to make preparations, eating a good breakfast, or the feeling of not being rushed, the perks of a later late start for both teachers and students are endless. Our mornings are the foundation of the rest of our days, so what’s the harm in improving everyone’s days by giving extra time?