Is A Later School Start Time Really Beneficial?


Katelyn Ruggles

Currently, YLHS students start school at 7:55 and end school at 2:45. With the additional thirty minutes that will be added next school year, school will start around 8:30 and end at around 3:15, pushing back all after school activities and giving students less time in the evening to do homework or other tasks.

Katelyn Ruggles, Editor

Starting next year, a law is being placed throughout California, requiring schools to start later. This means that for the 2022-2023 school year and beyond, Yorba Linda High School will not start at 8:30, as opposed to 7:55. At first glance, this seems like an improvement to the school schedule. Who would not want more time to sleep in or get ready in the morning. But when you take a deeper look at the new schedule, some concerns surface about how beneficial this late start time will actually be. 

The idea behind schools starting later is to allow students to get more sleep because teenagers do not get enough sleep, which is true. According to Better Health Channel, the high school student is getting an average of 6.5-7.5 hours of sleep per night, when the recommended amount is about 9 hours of sleep. This cause for lack of sleep can be caused by homework and after school activities. Hopefully, starting school later can relieve the stress on students and allow them to get closer to the encouraged amount of sleep.

However, later starting times also result in later ending times. If schools start 30 minutes later, it means schools will end 30 minutes later, which is around 3:15 for YLHS students. This means that now all after school activities will also be pushed back. Any sports games, practices, seventh periods, and meetings will end even later. With students coming home later from all their classes or practices, it gives them even less time to work on their homework, making them stay up even later now to get all their homework and possible studying done. Taking this into account, it defeats the purpose of starting school later because now students might get even less sleep compared to now. 

Camille Khong (11) comments on how her schedule would be affected with the later start time, saying that she

usually has a lot of things to do after school outside of homework, as well as still having a few hours of homework per night, so the later start time would not really pose any personal benefit.”

— Camille Khong


Also, it is important to consider that school is only starting 30 minutes later. Is that really enough to account for the hours of sleep teenagers are missing out on per night. If anything it will just cause teenagers to go to bed later, even if they do not have any work to do. Many people have developed the mindset that if they can wake up later, they can also go to sleep later. People have become accustomed to getting their usual amount of sleep, no matter how little it is, so when hearing that they need to wake up later, they just account for how much later they can go to sleep while still getting their normal amount of sleep time. 

Overall, the idea of school starting later sounds nice. Getting more sleep on school nights is every student and staff member’s dream. But would people really be getting more sleep with just a 30 minute pushed back start time, and an even later end time. With already building a habit of getting up for a 7:55 start time, and becoming accustomed to the daily routines under this schedule, it would be most beneficial if school times just stayed the same for upcoming years.