Pediatricians’ Group Says School Should Start No Earlier Than 8:30 A.M.


 schoolPediatricians have a new prescription for schools: later start times for teens.

Delaying the start of the school day until at least 8:30 a.m. would help curb their lack of sleep, which has been linked with poor health, bad grades, car crashes and other problems, the American Academy of Pediatrics says in a new policy.

The influential group says teens are especially at risk; for them, “chronic sleep loss has increasingly become the norm.”

More than 40 percent of the nation’s public high schools start classes before 8 a.m., according to government data cited in the policy. And even when the buzzer rings at 8 a.m., school bus pickup times typically mean kids have to get up before dawn if they want that ride. Read more here.

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  1. If school would start at ten, then teens would stay up until 3-4 AM. The issue is not when school starts, its about foresight, planning and responsibility.

    Those who are late for Shabbos during the short Friday’s of the winter are late during the long Fridays of summer. And if they live in a European country where Shabbos can begin at 10:30 PM, they will still be running late and have the last second rush. Its about foresight, planning and responsibility.

  2. teens need a lot of sleep, research studies have shown that the average highschooler cannot fall asleep before 11 so if schools are starting at seven….

  3. For all the naysayers above – sleep studies have shown that teens 1) naturally need more sleep than either children or adults (these are the years when the brain is maturing, not just growing in size) and 2) their natural sleep schedule starts later than younger/older people. Back in the day when I was in high school classes started at 8:45. People rarely fell asleep in class and there were a lot fewer behavioral problems.

    Most businesses don’t start work until 8:30. Why should we expect teenagers to do otherwise?

  4. Who cares?
    School should start when it’s convenient for the teachers. If students are there in time and have had enough rest that they aren’t falling asleep, they will learn, if not, let them find another class with a different schedule or let them learn on their own if they manage to.

  5. Oldtimer, I am not disputing we all owe a lot to those people who wake up at 2pm having gone to sleep at 6am. Actually they are sought for a number of different and very important jobs, and there are not enough of them, which forces “daytime people” into “permanent jetlag schedules”. That, too, studies have shown, is not nice and easy on people’s health. I am sure most, not to say all, “night-owl people” can find a satisfying, honest, well-paid job according to their professionality: there is shortage of such personnel.

    I do have a problem with losers who stay on facebook and chat until 4am and then blame their failure on the school schedules. Think for a moment of all the decent people all over the world who work the night shift, which pays better, in order to have a little bit extra money and be able to afford their adult education classes, because they could not study when they were teenagers, they had to start working. To those, my respect! But the losers I am referring to, they should most definitely not be subsidized by the taxpayer. And we both know the United Statesian (why does it call itself American?) Academy of Pediatrics is referring to the latter and not to the former.