Students in California are looking forward to waking up a little later after the governor signed into law that by July 1, 2022, high school classes will start no earlier than 8:30 a.m. and middle schools no earlier than 8 a.m. The news of this law is sparking attention in schools across the country, including ELHS.
“A lot of my friends complain about how early we start,” said sophomore Sydney Sager. “I’m up until 11 p.m. every night doing homework, and then I wake up at 5:30 a.m. for [P.E.] I do get pretty tired.”Although senators in California argue that a later start time would improve attendance rates and reduce tardiness, many argue whether or not it will actually solve the problem of sleep, according to the New York Times.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that teenagers ages 13 to 18 regularly need between eight and ten hours of sleep per night. Many students at ELHS would not meet this requirement.
A Viking Saga survey through Instagram taken on Nov. 4 shows that on average, only 5 percent of 200 students at ELHS get nine or more hours of sleep during the week. In addition, 70 percent get between six and eight hours, and about 25 percent get less than five.
“I agree with our start time. You’re in early
and out early,” said school nurse, Janet Binkowski. “I think the issue is time management. It wouldn’t make a difference pushing the start back an hour, because students would still have to cram everything into their day.”
Pushing back the school start time would also impact sports by causing most practices to go until later in the evening.
“Everyone’s schedule is different, but especially with sports, it would be hard. We would be practicing in the dark more than the light,” said Sager.
Another problem students face is daylight savings. Many struggle with waking up in the darkness but feel a little better when the clocks jump forward.
“Daylight savings tricks the mind,” said Ms. Binkowski. “If we stay on standard time throughout the year, students would get used to what it looks like outside when waking up and wouldn’t have to adjust to losing or gaining an hour of sleep.”
It seems as if EL functions well at 7:30 a.m.
“Our school system works well with its times, and it would be hard to make changes,” said senior Sammi Todaro. “I’m personally fine with the way it is.”