School schedules just aren't working

Posted: Wednesday, February 10, 2010

As a peer of Esra Siddeek and a sophomore at Juneau- Douglas High School, I completely agree that the new high school start and end times of 9:15 a.m. and 3:45 p.m. are not functioning well for students and have caused more problems then they have fixed.

I now have less time to do homework, spend with my family and participate in social activities. In addition, while the whole point of the new start time was to encourage students to get more sleep, I know kids that routinely stay up until two in the morning or later playing video games and hanging out on Facebook because they feel like they can sleep in. This undermines the whole point.

In addition, as a member of the boy's basketball team, I practice until 10 p.m. every weekday and often don't get home until 10:30. I am waking up after my parents and siblings leave in the morning and coming home after they are in bed at night. Last year, I was able to spend more time after school doing healthy activities such as having family time, being with friends, reading, fishing in the spring and hunting in the winter. This year, most of that has been restricted to weekends only.

Lastly, though my freshman year, I still went to school when it was dark, but at least I was released while it was still light out. Now it's dark in the morning and even darker in the afternoon. Every day during my last period, I glance outside, see the sun set, and begin to dread the cold, wet and dark walk home. Is the new start time increasing high school students' attendance rates? Is it working for high school students in the way it was envisioned?

I also am concerned about elementary school students who are on the streets at early hours, and at home while their parents are still working. There also are children whose parents have to spend money on after-school child care. Is the new schedule working for elementary students and their families?

Please present the community with some data before we decide to continue this schedule another year.

Evan Gross


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