Friday, October 4, 2013

Montgomery County schools chief pushes for later high school start times

Week 5 Article#2

1.  George, Donna. Montgomery County schools chief pushes for later high school start times 
(2013, October 1) Washington Post

2. Category of Problem: Education

3. Level of Problem: Montgomery County

4. This article concerns:
Superintendent Joshua P. Starr offered his plan as the district released a report that examines research on teen sleep, describes results of student surveys and details possibilities for changing school start times.

5. What is the importance?
Starr’s proposal would push back high school start times, now 7:25 a.m.  by 50 minutes while bringing in other changes. 
Middle-schoolers would start at 7:45 a.m., 10 minutes earlier than they do now, and children in elementary school would have a longer school day, with afternoon dismissals that would be 30 minutes later.
This would help many students get some extra sleep to start off the day well and like Starr said that getting enough sleep “helps increase important brain functions vital to the learning process” and contributes to lower rates of car crashes and obesity, and a decreased incidence of depression.

6. What are your views?
I personally like the idea that this will happen for many students in Montgomery County. 
Researchers have found that teenagers need 81 / to 91 / hours of sleep a night. With high school classes in Montgomery beginning at 7:25 a.m. and buses picking up students in the 6 a.m. hour, many teens would need to be in bed at 9 p.m. to get a full night’s rest. This can allow students to have enough time for extra circular activities as well as enough time for doing homework and studying for upcoming exams. 
The proposed changes to benefit teenagers are paired with changes to expand learning for elementary school students, adding the equivalent of nearly 14 school days to the academic year for the system’s youngest students. As stated in the article, “The student who sleeps in class misses an opportunity to learn,” the report said. “The student who drives while sleepy is a danger to him- or herself and others.” More than half of students are reported only sleeping for six hours or less. Many students reported that doze off in class, especially in early classes, more than 1/3 said two to four times a week. 

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