Prior to Covid, the majority of K-12 schools were running on schedules that didn’t serve students well. In the latter half of the 20th century, school start and end times were designed around bus schedules. To use the same fleet of buses for all students, schools in suburban areas created schedules with high school students as the first arrivals.
Yet study after study shows that early school starts don’t work best for adolescent sleep needs. Data supports the fact that later start times (after 8:30 am) are best for adolescents’ mental and physical health and generate improved academic performance. Researchers have also discovered teens who start school later in the day experience fewer car crashes, have a more even temperament at home, and are less prone to depression.
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