Start the school day later

Photo by Henri Mathieu-Saint-Laurent on

Will Turboff ’22

Students are tired, teachers are overwhelmed, and nearly everybody realizes that the current school day is not working as efficiently as it should. Strake Jesuit should make the school day start later so that everyone can work to their full potential.

Recent studies have shown that the healthiest wake-up time for teenagers should not be before 7 a.m., which is later than most SJ students are awake by. If students were to go to bed around 10 p.m., the recommended 10 hour sleeping period would end around 8 a.m., leaving them well-rested for a full day of school.

Another reason to change the start of the school days would be to benefit extracurricular activities. Many sports and clubs such as band and SJET meet very early in the morning, sometimes hours before the school day begins. As Strake Jesuit prides itself on giving students an opportunity to be involved in as many activities as they would like, while staying focused on their school work, it makes the most sense to give these extracurriculars more time in the morning.

Many would argue that starting the day later would make it harder for students with parents who are expected to be at work early to get to school; however, there are many solutions to that. To start off, the Strake Jesuit campus could continue to be open as early as it always has been. This change would also promote other forms of transportation, such as carpools, public transportation, etc. Also, as there will be expanded parking with the arrival of Loyola Hall, more students will be able to drive themselves to school everyday without worrying about finding a parking spot.

Opening campus at the same time as it does now, around 7 a.m., would turn out to be some of the most important time in the day for students and teachers. Giving students a chance to go to their teachers from the time that they arrive on campus until the start of the school day could be utilized for making up assignments, studying, or simply asking teachers for help.

My proposition to change the school day has the opening bell at 9:30 a.m., and the closing bell at 3:30 p.m. While a cutback in the amount of time in a school day would hypothetically lose time for instruction, students and teachers, who constantly complain of fatigue due to poor sleep hygiene, would be more motivated to complete all work in a timely manner because they are fully rested.