I know my kids’ private school start dates are earlier than many as both start the week of August 17 this year. The article below talks about school start times and how middle and high schoolers shouldn’t start before 8:30 am given their internal clocks stay up to11 pm and they need to get the requisite 9 hours of sleep. Our middle school begins at 8:00 am and high school begins at 8:20 am.
In our metro area we have at least 6 different school districts with different start dates, though not before August 24, and different start times. Those high schools with 9 am start times do not let out until 4 pm and kids riding the bus are often not home until 5 pm. The main complaints of parents I have heard about this later start time are (1) the kids have an hour or more at home after the parents have left for work before they have to leave for school, (2) after school sports practices then often go over into the dinner hour, and (3) it often means the kids are up doing homework after parents have gone to bed.
Some discussions I have had with other parents have raised the following points about 9 am starts – (1) start time really doesn’t matter because often club or some sports practices are moved to the mornings which still puts the kids on campus as early as 7 am, (2) after school activities are just shifted later, so a 4-6 pm practice moves to a 5-7 pm practice, which interferes more with the dinner hour, especially if you have younger kids whose school hours in the same district are 7:45 am to 2:45 pm, (3) kids with lots of homework (especially after an after-school practice) often aren’t in bed by 11 pm as you have just shifted it later in the day, and (4) even to take the bus for a 9 am start kids are to be “at the stop” by 8:15 am, so assuming they are getting up at 7:30 am, they would have to be in bed by 10:30 pm to get their 9 hours.
Totebaggers – What hours do your kids attend school? Do they start earlier than 8:30 am? Do you think it’s a problem? Do you like later start times, if your district has them.