Think About It: Time Passages - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News Now, Local Programming

September 7, 2015

Think About It: Time Passages

The American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended a start time of 8:30am for middle schools and high schools. Research has shown that youngster's brains work better a bit later in the AM each day. It has to do with circadian rhythms. Starting school later locally would also afford kids a better opportunity to get the prescribed minimum of eight-and-a-half hours sleep each night.

Unfortunately, and according to TIME magazine, currently 84% of states have at least 75% of their schools beginning each week day before 8:30am. Minnesota now starts school at 8:30am or later, and the report says that 60% of students there now get at least eight-hours of sleep per night. Starting school later would also ease some local traffic woes. Of course, starting school later here might also mean starting it later in the year, like the good old days when the school year began around Labor Day, which would also eliminate 30+ days that public school kids now spend in over-heated classrooms that aren't drawing enough attention quickly (after 40 years).

Jackson Hole High School in Wyoming shifted its start time to 8:55 a.m., and the number of car crashes involving teenage drivers dropped by 70%.A study at the U.S. Air Force Academy showed that freshmen starting classes after 8 a.m. performed better not only in their first classes but throughout the day. Locally, SEEQS Charter School begins its day with physical activity at 8:30 and academics start at 9:20a- and the school finds its student body to be happier and more engaged. It's time to consider time in our public schools, for a number of reasons. Yes, there are correlated consequences with after school activities and learning time hours, but should we really just ignore this concept as yet another idea that's simply too difficult or cumbersome to incorporate locally? Think about it.

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