Early School Starting Times May Lower Student Grades


Hello, my name is Jake Fagan and I am writing this letter in regard to what I call sleep deprivation.

I think schools should start at 9 a.m. because students often do not get enough sleep. Students have homework most of the time and need to stay up half the night doing it. Then, as soon as they get to bed, they only get about six to eight hours of sleep.

Based on recent studies published in the Weekly Journal, teenagers need at least eight to 10 hours of sleep per night to accommodate their growth rate. Many students' grades may suffer for the simple reason of sleep deprivation.

We did a test in one of my classes awhile ago. We had some students, with their parents' permission, stay up until 8 p.m., others until 9 p.m. and a few others until 10 p.m. The students with the most sleep achieved better grades. The students that stayed up the latest had substantially lower grades than the students who received more sleep.

I know some students in the Phoenix metropolitan area who attend their schools from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. They have achieved above-average grades and are able to participate in sports without their grades suffering.

I would like the school board to review information related to the possibility that grades can be affected by lack of sleep. If, in their studies, they find conclusive results similar to my findings, they may consider changing the school times.

Jake Fagan

Rim Country Middle School student


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