Rise And Shine – School Could Be Starting Much Later

Liam O'Rielly, Writer

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Committees of the Franklin Public School district have proposed the idea of changing the school start times for the near future years. Different scenarios of the start times include the highschool time starting up to an hour and ten minutes later than it currently starts, and the middle school starting an hour and thirty-five minutes later than it currently starts. 

There have been many ongoing conversations regarding whether this idea should pass. Many have weighed the benefits and drawbacks of changing the start times. 

The primary benefit that school districts are striving for when they push start times to later in the morning is providing students with an opportunity to get more sleep,” said Dr. Ahern, Superintendent of Franklin Public Schools.  “Sleep deprivation is associated with many negative health outcomes.” Click here for more information about this topic

Although some students may relish the thought of not having to wake up so early, there are severe drawbacks to this plan. When asked what some of the drawbacks were, Dr. Ahern states:

“The biggest concern for students are potential consequences to after school activities and sports,” said Dr. Ahern.  “Additional negatives are the difficulties that might be involved when families have to make changes in their routines.” 

If the start times do change, things like siblings being picked up by older siblings could be affected and could cause serious problems for some of the families. To get a better view of the students’ thoughts on this, Chris Drake, a freshman at Franklin High School, volunteered to share his opinions. He believes that school should start later to help students focus on work.

“A lot of people like to sleep in, I like to sleep in, and people can’t focus when they’re tired,” said Chris. “Sleeping in would help me feel better and I wouldn’t fall asleep in class.”

Due to the clear many different opinions and sides to this proposal, the deciding committees may take much longer to make their final decision. The School Start Times Advisory Committee has been meeting since March of 2018 to weigh the drawbacks and benefits of adjusting the time. Currently, steps have been taken to find out more about students’ sleep schedules, by using surveys. 

Although the district frequently pauses their discussions about changing start times, actions are being taken to find more information to make the best possible plan for future years. The main focus is to educate students and families on the importance of sleep. 

More meetings are going to take place soon, so watch for those, and try to stay awake.

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