Point/Counterpoint: Is the new start time an improvement?
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The official school start and end times were changed after a period of stagnancy at the start of this year and admittedly, there was some anxiety over the new schedule.
With the later start to the day, students must drive during rush hour. Although this is a setback, ultimately the later start time was the right choice.
There’s a lot less pressure in the mornings. There’s no need to wake up before the sun and run out the door. There’s more time. Granted, many probably spend most of that time sleeping, but now there’s an option.
And one of those options is to leave earlier to skip traffic altogether. The school is quiet in the morning, and it’s a good time to get any last-minute work done, or to just get a coffee. But if you’re not interested in being the early bird that gets the worm, you can now sleep for an hour longer, which is basically a revolutionary innovation.
The change may have taken some getting used to at the beginning, but now that students are back in the swing of things, the improvement is evident.
The change in times also makes it easier for students to take their younger siblings to school in the mornings if their parents can’t.
While we do get out later in the afternoon, it’s only a 30-minute extension, which doesn’t really interfere with extracurriculars that drastically. An added bonus, it’s not rush hour when we’re dismissed.
The old schedule was in place for a long time, but given the benefits of the new times, it was more than long enough.
Getting some extra sleep never hurts anyone and with the new schedule that is what students are getting, however, there are some issues with the times that need to be addressed. With the time that school starts now, 8:30 a.m., people end up getting caught in rush hour when they leave their houses. But it doesn’t stop there, the traffic continues after school as well. There is a lot less time for homework and other after-school activities with school ending at 3:25 p.m. leaving only a little bit of time to schedule other things.
Traffic in the morning can make a 30-minute car ride into an hour-long trip. Because the average workday begins at 9 a.m., students get caught in the clusters of people on their way to work and if they leave too late they can end up being late too school.
The schedule from the previous year had students on the road right before rush hour allowing for little traffic and shorter trips. For the students who live farther away from school, they have more time before they leave the house.
Many sports and club meetings have meeting after school, these practices had typically already ended late the previous year. The practices remain the same, but time for other work does not.
It is important that students have enough time for themselves as well as their school work. The new schedule makes difficult for students to participate in extracurricular while still balancing school work, it would be better to revert back to the previous year’s schedule.