The American Academy of Pediatrics has come out with a study on high school students and earlier school day start times. It would appear that not only do teenagers need on average an hour more sleep than adults, they also benefit from a day that starts up to two hours later. Upper Canada District School Board Superintendent Dave Coombs says we moved to earlier start times over twenty years ago, for a number of reasons:
Coombs says it’s difficult to judge success of the earlier start over generations but if rising school graduation rates are any indication, students have adapted well.
Coombs says North Grenville District High School used to start their day at 9am in the 80s. About twenty years ago, the start time moved up to ten after eight.
Coombs says the earlier start times means older students are finished school earlier to look after their younger siblings, or to take part in after school activities. It also means less school buses with the older kids finishing before the elementary students. The UCDSB is not looking at starting the school day later, but they have adjusted schedules to make classes 15 minutes shorter.
Coombs says it is difficult to determine the effect of the change to an earlier start time.
Coombs says the UCDSB is not currently looking at changing the time they start the school day.