Schools Nationwide Consider Pushing the Start Time of School Back

Patrick Inman, Staff Writer

Many high school students have found it difficult to get the required eight hours of sleep per night. With sleep deprivation causing several incidents, should the start time of school be changed?

According to, there are eighteen schools around the nation that are planning to push back the starting time for school within the next few months, and the number increases every year. A major push is being made in the Indianapolis area, as they continue to emphasize student sleep as a priority. Momentum is picking up in Pennsylvania and New Jersey as well.

Kaylee Martin, a junior at Seneca Valley high school, was asked if she thought the school start time should change. Martin stated, “Yes. Having to go to practice and not getting home until the late evening leaves me little time to do homework.” Martin was also asked how many hours of sleep she normally gets on a school night, in which she said “Around seven hours on a good day. Very rarely have I ever gotten more than eight.”

A National Sleep Foundation study learned that more than 85 percent of teenagers in school get less than eight or nine hours of sleep a night. In relation to lack of rest, car accidents and suicides, two of the biggest killers of teens, are heavily influenced by sleep deprivation.

Matthew Daniels, a senior at Unionville-Chadds Ford High School in Philadelphia, has dedicated his senior year to become the main advocate for change in the start times of school. Daniels, along with his fellow students, have proposed that the best way to prevent busy conflicts is to flip elementary and secondary start times, start all schools later, and share buses with neighboring districts.

“There are a lot of obstacles,” Daniels stated, “but with committed students, administration, and community, finding a solution with the least impact on stakeholders, it’s possible.”

In regards to after school activities, the students have suggested holding morning practices and meetings, installing lights on fields, and adding an optional enrichment/study hall period at the start of the day.

The majority of administrators are on-board with Daniels suggestion of moving back the start time; however, they have pointed out other factors that lead to sleep deprivation such as overbooked schedules and screen time before bed.

Daniels’ plan has a very legitimate shot of becoming a reality among schools nationwide within the coming months as various schools around the nation have acknowledged his detailed idea.