Tired? Not on Friday’s

Coming to school later also means more sleep. For a lot of teenagers and highschool students, this is critical in their daily lives and functioning to their best ability.
This year, H-F announced that Friday’s would now turn into late starts- meaning e-period classes would begin at 8:30am and 2nd period classes begin at 9:30am. For years, we have been told that more sleep is the most important thing for teenagers, and yet very few schools have done anything to help this.
So, why hasn’t this change happened sooner, and why are so many schools not following the trend?
According to the National Sleep Foundation, “Teens need about 8 to 10 hours of sleep each night to function best. Most teens do not get enough sleep — one study found that only 15% reported sleeping 8 1/2 hours on school nights.”
Senior Lilly Donkel appreciates the change made by the faculty, and believes having a late start dramatically changes her day for the better. “I like the late start because I can sleep in and I think I focus better in school since I’m not as tired as I usually am,” says Donkel.
For many highschool students, this is the reality. Getting the right amount of sleep is difficult when most students have extracurriculars and homework on a daily basis. Having a late start allows them to get a good amount of sleep despite the time they go to bed.
H-F is one of the few schools in the US that are beginning these late starts. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 93% of highschools and 83% of middle schools start before 8:30am. They say adolescents who do not get 8-10 hours of sleep every night are more likely to suffer from symptoms of depression, perform poorly in school, etc.
All schools should see the importance of beginning their first classes later, to make the health and well being of their students a priority.
However, the later start has both advantages and disadvantages.
Many teachers are having a tough transition with the later start. The shorter days make it more difficult to get in all of the material and be productive in the day, however it does the give them time to collaborate and plan for the week ahead.
“I think that the staff needs the Friday morning time to get the collaborative work done that needs to be done to meet the school’s goals. Though we might be losing some in-class instructional time, there are benefits to teachers working together to make the time we do have with students more effective and more consistent. I think it is helpful to that end,” said teacher Joseph Upton.