My View: Later start times for high schoolers - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

My View: Later start times for high schoolers

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There is a lot of talk in our area about school start times. In Fairfax County, seniors who are on track to graduate get to drop the first two periods so they can sleep in. Now there's a new movement in Montgomery County to start the high school day 50 minutes later, moving from 7:25am to 8:15am. This proposed change will cost taxpayer at least 12 million dollars.

Montgomery County School Superintendent Joshua Starr thinks this makes sense.

Does it? Maybe not, and here's why, as a parent of a high school student in Montgomery County, starting the day later may make sense, but only in theory. The theory being kids will get more sleep and are more rested to learn. But my guess is probably not. Most teenagers, if given the opportunity to sleep in, will only stay up later. And that defies the theory.

What happened to "early to bed, early to rise" or "the early bird catches the worm?" These are sayings that go back to my time, and maybe your time growing up. We did it. Why can't today's kids rise to the occasion? Montgomery County high start time has been at 7:25am for 20 years.

Think about this: in a matter of a few years, your high schooler may get the job opportunity of a lifetime. What happens if your child decides work starts too early? Should their bosses adjust their schedule to accommodate that need? Of course not.

And there's more: these later start times will create chaos at home: schedules would need to be adjusted. Parents need to get to work. After school activities would be pushed back even later with less time at night to do homework, thus forcing them to stay up even later?

And as for homework, in my view, one of the main reasons for sleep deprived kids, is the amount of homework being assigned. Why so much homework? Why aren't we covering more during the day instead of taking more home at night?

What's going on here? Are we just adding to the growing sentiment that kids should get off easier these days? A strong work ethic and a drive to succeed, no matter how hard things get, should to be taught now. This is a lesson just as important as the lessons students learn in the classroom and the benefit an extra 50 minutes sleep might provide.

That's my view. I would like to hear what you think - please comment below on our Facebook page.

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