Montgomery County schools should change schooling hours to start later, according to Patch readers.
asking if they agreed with the Start School Later Initiative’s petition that encourages lawmakers to start school no earlier than 8 a.m. Petitioners say students would be physically and mentally healthier with more time for sleep and rest, while teachers would have more time to prepare lessons.
An overwhelming 88 percent of responders think that Montgomery County students, teachers and parents would benefit from school hour starting later in the morning.
“Without a doubt, a later start to schools is beneficial to everyone, most importantly to the kids,” Patch user wrote in. “My children have attended school in several countries and they all had later starts (8:45am - 3:30pm). Kids were engaged and awake but still had time for after school activities and sports.”
“I see high school student, after high school student, come to my office with major depression, anxiety, and social problems,” said MCPS parent and adolescent psychologist . “One of the first things I do is educate the parents and student on the compelling and growing research about [adolescent] sleep needs.”
While more than 200 readers agreed that schools should start later around the county, a little more than 30 responders think no change is needed. Some were concerned that later start times may not leave enough time for extra curricular activities.
“I think school should start later but not too late,” wrote . “My son currently starts at 8:40 and ends at 3:30. I do not like the 3:30 time because they do not have much homework time before a sport or other activity.”
“My daughter goes to Good Counsel H.S. and with school getting out at 2:45, play practice doesn't end until 6:30, IB Music ends at 6:00, sports that can't get a gym or field right after school also go late,” said . “If we move back the start time, then they're up even later than they are now doing homework.”
What do you think about the Start School Later Initiative? Do you think later school times would leave enough room for extra curricular activities? Are hours fine as they are? Tell us in the comments!