School Start Times


School start times have always been a heated topic. Students want time to sleep in instead of waking up early. But why does school start early? Well there are a few reasons.

First is the buses. Bus drivers need time to refuel the buses, then go out and get students. The standard starting time for high schools is 7:30. Middle schools start at 8:00, and elementary schools start at 8:30. Times vary, but that is the standard for most US schools. Durham schools start much later, around 8:45 to 9. 

Another concern is parents and working hours. Most jobs start at 9 am, so schools must work around that time. Most parents do not like the idea of leaving their child at home or waiting for a bus. 

The final issue is the main reason schools do not want to change times. Changing times would mess up the whole system schools have. Buses will have to be changed, but also after school activities. After school events will go on later into the night because these activities need time to be set up.

But there are also many benefits to having a later start time. Obviously students would get more sleep and more time to get ready for school, but the benefits are also psychological. Studies have shown that the brain is not fully alert until 8:30. But for high schools, 8:30 is when 1st period is about to end.

The more sleep a student gets, the more likely they are to be awake and alert throughout the day. This means more productivity and better grades. Since durham schools start much later, students gain those benefits. Many durham schools have talked about having better grades, more productivity, and overall happier students.

The counter argument to this is students should just sleep earlier at night, but this is not possible for some students. Students have after school activities, then they need to rush home and get all of their homework done, which could vary depending on the class.

One of the issues for students is job times. Some students have a job outside of school, which can lead on late into the night. On top of working they have to finish up any homework that is due.

School starting times is a huge debate that may not ever change. Schools have a very tight schedule that cannot easily be changed, but many students and psychologists want the time to change.


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