Should school start later? - KMSP-TV

Should school start later?

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The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that school start no earlier than 8:30 a.m. for middle and high school students.

This recommendation is based on biology. Pediatricians say adolescents can have trouble falling asleep before 11 p.m. Therefore in order for teens to get a full eight hours of sleep the school day should start later. Pediatricians say it would align school schedules with the biological sleep rhythms of adolescents that change during puberty.

Dr. Cathleen London is a pediatrician and mother of a teenager. She said she thinks a later start to the school day would have health benefits for students.

Most New York City public schools want kids at school by 7:30 with many first classes starting at or before 8 a.m.

According to startschoollater.net, a few schools in this area are already trying a later start time. That includes Ridgewood High School in New Jersey, Wilton High School in Connecticut, and some schools in upstate New York.

That move counters the push to extend the school day and lengthen the school year. But doctors insist that extra half hour or hour of sleep may greatly improve a student's health and academic performance.

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