Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2007

School daze: The debate on school starting times

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With the new school year approaching, Youth Press summer interns asked students:

Would you prefer to start classes later than the current 7:25 a.m.?

This is Part 2 of their replies.

The yeas

Thomas McTigheSenior, Rockville High

‘‘Yes, I would like to start around 7:55, like when middle school starts, because I like having time after school and sports teams still need to get practices in, but I don’t like having to wake up so early.”

Melissa AmisquitaSenior, Clarksburg High

‘‘I think school should start later because I have a lot of stuff to do in the afternoon and it gets in the way of my sleep. I only get five hours because of all the homework, my job and sports.”

Peter SperdutoSenior, Rockville High

‘‘Yes. I would like classes to start at 8 a.m. because I’d be able to get more sleep and feel more rested, and I think I’d just be better off during the school day.”

Lauren ShellySenior, Rockville High

‘‘Yes, I’d rather start school later because it’s hard to get up when I’ve been up all night doing homework.”

Saba GongbaySenior, Rockville High

‘‘Yes, I really do not like the fact that school starts at that time. It’s just too early for most students, especially those that live far distances from their school and have to wake up at 4 or 5 [a.m.], just to get to school on time.”

Daniel StubbsJunior, Rockville High

‘‘Yes, I’d rather school start around 8:30 or so, because teenagers need more sleep than other age groups and our minds naturally give us energy boosts in the evenings, so going to bed earlier is almost not an option at all.”

Jessica Wolfe, Freshman, Montgomery College

‘‘In other countries, schools have better scores then we do, the children are generally smarter, they start school later, they end school later, and are given some form of free time or recess.”

The nays

Andrew Donlon, Sophomore, Seneca Valley High

‘‘I’d want to keep school at the same time because if we’d change it to be later, we’d get out later and yeah, I like getting out earlier in the day.”

Danielle DuplainSenior, Rockville High

‘‘No. I like our schedule the way it is because if classes started later, then athletic practice would also start and end later and by the time athletes would get home it would probably be around 6 or 7 [p.m.]. This wouldn’t [allow] much time for homework, especially with AP classes and now the new IB program, and it would take the students longer to complete their homework, resulting in us getting the same amount of sleep, just with a later schedule.”

Emanuel RamirezSenior, Seneca Valley High

‘‘No, because when you do, time will also be taken away. If we start school at 9:25, school will end at 4:25, and that’s time wasted in the morning. [I think that] we’re just being dumb and sleeping later than we should, which is unhealthy.”

Ronia DubbanehSenior, Rockville High

‘‘No, I think 7:25 is a fine time to start, because it gives us more time after school for sports and homework and or jobs. Also, no matter how much students complain about having to wake up early to get to school on time, they will complain no matter what time it is because everyone stays up really late anyways.”

George CarreyJunior, Seneca Valley High

‘‘Of course, starting school later is going to sound like an awesome idea to anyone who has to wake up at 6 [o’clock] every weekday morning, but you have to remember, school is supposed to prepare you for a career in the real world, and in the real world, most people do have jobs that require you to wake up early ...”