Will starting school an hour later make middle schoolers more rested and productive, or take time out of the day for extracurriculars?
The Long Beach school board has voted to start classes an hour later for middle schoolers. If the change is adopted, that dreaded morning bell would ring at 8.50 in the morning, later than the current 7.40am start time. The school board says it will help save money. Many experts say adolescent minds will learn better with the extra sleep.
What about the parents who no longer can drop off their kids on their way to work? Will the school board help them work around their soon-to-be jammed up morning schedules? What about the effects of extracurricular activities that take place before and after school? Will there be enough time for sports and drama and band if school doesn’t finish until nearly 4pm?
Kyla Wahlstrom, Director, Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement College of Education and Human Development at the University of Minnesota