Friday, December 16, 2005

A Few More Hits of the Snooze

On Wednesday evening, School Board President Konrad Wayson declared that high school start times will probably be 30 minutes later next year. Currently, County High Schools start at 7:17am. According to the Board, this change would be the least costly of several options they are considering. A "radical" shift to 8am would apparently cost the County up to $4.6 million a year in extra transportation costs.

Research shows that later start times for high schoolers can result in students feeling less depressed, missing less school, and earning higher grades than students who have to get up earlier. Ideally, these students should be getting up around 9am, rather than an hour or two earlier.

Given the research, this certainly seems like a step in the right direction, though the Board should leave the option of pushing the starting time back further, later on, if a workable plan can be devised.

First Longitudinal Study of Later High School Start Times. Wahlstrom, K. (2002) [pdf]



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