Lindbergh High students propose that school start later, get out later

Letter to the Editor

To the editor:

We are seniors in the Lindbergh High School Class of 2019 and have attended schools within the Lindbergh School District since we were in kindergarten.

This year, we are taking human anatomy and physiology and have studied the effect of sleep on students, mostly those in high school. After a thorough investigation, we have concluded that while the start of school each day at 7:25 a.m. at Lindbergh High School is convenient for being able to leave earlier in the afternoon, we believe that it would be more beneficial to start the school day 35 minutes later for each school in the district in order to have a little more time to sleep and re-energize.

We would like to start by explaining the effects that sleep can negatively impact students. In a national study, 72.7 percent of high-school students are not receiving enough sleep each night.

Teenagers should have between 8.5 and 9.25 hours of sleep each night. In addition, 57.8 percent of middle-school students do not receive enough sleep either. The majority of students from sixth grade to seniors in high school are not receiving the proper amount of sleep per night. Therefore, lack of sleep can lead to sleep disturbances and chronic fatigue.

Many believe that pushing the start times of the school days would just cause students to go to bed later in the evening.

But researchers from the University of Minnesota looked at the effects of a later start time for school. They found that it led to students being less tired for their learning and feeling less depressed.

Also, a later start causes fewer absences and tardies, higher attendance, better grades for teenage students and better health due to fewer illnesses.

We believe that the start time for school districts should be pushed back. For example, Lindbergh High School should start at 8 a.m. every morning and students should be released at 3 p.m. rather than 2:25 p.m.

St. Louis school districts should start later in order to improve the health and grades of the students, in addition to supporting a better and more positive school setting.

Joseph Soete and Raymond Weber
Lindbergh High School
Class of 2019

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