High school seniors in Seattle probably feel pretty unlucky this morning — as they will miss later school start times by just one year. Beginning in the fall of 2016, Seattle public schools will be one of the largest districts in the country to push back the late bell and begin classes for high school, middle school, and some elementary schools after 8:30 a.m.
Hopefully this will reduce the number of desk kicking wake-up calls followed by awkward shame during math class. We’re just tired, okay?
The decision to delay start times in schools came after evidence from the American Academy of Pediatrics showed how valuable later start times are for teenagers. Parents in Seattle considered these and other factors then began a campaign to change start times. Meanwhile, a few hundred Seattle contrarians revved up their “young people are entitled” engines and began to outline solemn “back in my day” think pieces.
Advocates for the change draw attention to the improvements added sleep has on learning, health, and equity. Various studies show that our biological clock changes as we get older. As teens, we get tired later, therefore waking up earlier can be difficult. Results of adjusted start times in other parts of the U.S. have shown students get more sleep each week, which improves attendance and enrollment along with alertness. Additionally, depression in these schools went down.
According to the Seattle Times, critics of the movement point out that later start times would affect after-school activities and might detract from some students’ optimal learning window…also, it’s not how they were raised, so it’s terrible. The high cost of reorganizing transportation was also noted — money the administrators would rather put toward the classroom (but if it creates a net improvement in concentration, it’s money well spent, right?).
Interestingly omitted from the article are the affects this may have on Instagram feeds. In Seattle, get ready for your local youngsters to have plenty of time to create moody morning shots.
“I call this one, ‘Kissed By A Rose On The Grey.'”