GCSD should change school start time so students can get more sleep

To the Editor:

I am a student at Farnsworth Middle School in Guilderland. Because of the starting times in Guilderland, many of us can’t fit in school, homework, and sports while going to bed early enough to meet the requirement of nine to 10 hours of sleep.

I have had many times where I had to go in late because the night before I couldn’t fit in homework and my extracurricular activities. When I do wake up earlier, my sleeping hours get affected.

It has been proven that students who get more sleep tend to do better in class, have fewer car accidents, exhibit more positive and stable moods, and do better in athletic events.

I think the Guilderland Central School District should change the school starting times, allowing students to obtain more hours of sleep, which would help improve grades and overall attitudes toward school. Sleep has been proven to help remodel your brain and make it work faster and better, so we need to change the public’s view of sleep.

The elementary-, middle-, and high-schoolers all go in at different times. First, the high schools start school at around 7:30 a.m.; then, the elementary-schoolers start second around 8 a.m.; and, lastly, the middle-schoolers start around 8:45 a.m. I think this is very unfair because the high schoolers go in first even though they have the most work to do.

Most schools in the United States begin before 9 a.m. Some states, such as Maryland, Massachusetts, and Virginia, have shown an interest in beginning the school day later to give children more time to sleep in and be prepared for school. I think the Guilderland Central School District should consider starting the schools at around the same hour.

High school students are affected the most by the earlier start times. It is important for them to get the sleep they need so they can do well on Regents exams and overall in their classes.

Some may argue that the start times work very well for not only the bus pickup, but also for when the students get out. They may feel that it is better for students to get home earlier so they have more time to do homework and study. Also they may say that schools start so early so sports won’t be affected. I think, if they say they don’t want to affect sports, then they’re saying that sports are more important than school

Meghan Brewer

Altamont