Emma Geisler 0

Don't Touch CCPS HS Starting Times!!

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The talk of changing the high school and elementary Chesterfield County Public Schools starting times has been in the works for over two years. The discussion has been over if the high schools should switch their starting times with the elementary schools. If this were to happen, high schools would start at 9:30 and end at 4:00, while elementary schools would start at 7:45 and end at 2:15.

Chesterfield County's reason for changing school starting times is due to the recent (well, somewhat recent) studies from the National Sleep Foundation showing that high school students should not be starting school before 8:00 in the morning, due to the teenagers need for greater amounts of sleep than elementary school student. Students understand the need for more sleep, but sacrificing their afternoon is just not something worth the extra snoozing hours.

If the high schools were to to change starting times to that of the elementary schools, there will be very few hours left in the day for students to participate in after school activities such as clubs, sports, and activities outside of school like volunteering, part time jobs, or simply even doing homework. One thing Chesterfield County Public Schools are not considering in their appeal to changing school times is that high school students are given a far greater amount of work than those of elementary school students. A far greater amount of schoolwork means that students will need a far greater amount of time to complete their schoolwork.

Studies have shown that participation after school programs have a positive impact on academic achievement. After school activities are shown to ¨...improve students' self-esteem and self-confidence...¨ through ¨....improving social and personal skills...¨ (SEDL, 2008). After school programs have also found to decrease risky behavior amongst students and improve health and wellness of students through promoting activity. After school activities also benefit as impactful stress relievers, since the activities get students out of the school/work mentality that causes high amounts of stress. After school activities are necessary for mental and physical wellness of students.

The idea of changing Chesterfield County Public Schools starting times has good intentions behind it, but is realistically not beneficial to the lives of high school students.

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