Start Times

Four Regina high schools to start later next year – Read it on Global News: Global Regina | Four Regina high schools to start later next year The article says:

  • Classes for students in the 4 Regina Catholic high schools will start at 9:00 am instead of 8:30 am.
  • Lunch hour will be 15 minutes shorter.
  • Afternoon dismissal will be at 3:15 until 3:05.
  • Studies suggest that students learn better later in the day and when they get more sleep.
The last point made me think of an article I found : Later classes an eye opener relating to schools in Ontario. It discusses advantages and disadvantages to later class start times. Some good points for both sides are given. I also read a blog post by Brittany in my ECMP 355 where she discusses the same subject. Her post can be accessed here.
Some advantages mentioned are: students need more sleep and that students are more alert and focus better in the afternoon – which can lead to better grades.Some disadvantages mentioned were that transportation can be an issue and that after school activity times may conflict with other schedules.

Reading all of these articles and especially the Regina article made me think of some questions:

  1. The city buses that provide transit to the high schools go to both the Public and Catholic schools. If the public schools still start at 8:30, will the students at Regina Catholic end up arriving for 8:30 any ways or will a new bus schedule be implemented – one for Public and one for Catholic?
  2. What happens to lunch time classes like choir or dance (they are credit courses)? It seems they will be shortened but that other classes will remain the same in terms of time allotted for them. Having taking choir in high school, we had limited rehearsal time as it was – I shorter class time here will take away from the quality of the program being offered.

I understand the need for quality of sleep and that it is easier to learn later in the day, but I don’t think having schools start at 9:00 as opposed to 8:30 will have the desired effect. I think schools should for example start at 10 and end at 4:30 – as this may be more beneficial to the students.

Do you have any thoughts? Can you see any benefits to school starting at 9:00 am?



4 thoughts on “Start Times

  1. Those are great points you made.
    What will an half an hour accomplish? What happens to classes like choir at lunch being shorten?
    And the bus schedule.
    I agree with you that in order to make a difference for students to gain more sleep, school should start at 10 and end at 4:30 if they are really considering this. For example, I was a student athlete in high school. I would wake up 4/5 school days at 4:30 am to go to swimming practice, by the time 2nd period came around I was falling asleep in class. Finishing practice at 7:30am and having extra time to take a nap before school would have been amazing! And its not like I went to bed late either, evening practice would be from 4-7 pm, I would go home do homework and be in bed by 9:30. Sleep is the most essential part of our day, its where our bodies regenerate. Now with that being said, its also on the part of a student to go to bed at a decent hour, don’t stay up till 2am infront of a screen (I am guilty of doing this aswell) and be responsible for their own bodies. Their needs to be a balance and changing school hours so that students can get more sleep sounds a little bit like putting a bandaid over the issue of students being unfocused or tired in schools.

    1. Thanks for the feedback! you made great points as well – I had not thought about out of school activities that have a big time requirement and early or late hours. I am definitely guilty of staying up way too late – but at least in University there is more flexibility of when I can get up and if I can have a nap between classes.

  2. Definitely love all of the points made throughout this idea of school start/end times… I posted blog not too long ago about why some schools wanted a later start time for students and it all had to do with the release of melatonin in the body for specific age groups. For some student going to bed early, getting up early and using their brain power in a meaningful way is just not hormonally plausible.

    I think this idea of starting these few schools a little bit later is an interesting strategy to see if they see ANY positive results. If they don’t, well then I guess they go back to the old way… If it works it could open up a whole new can of worms for the education system, not to mention parents, current jobs, and recreation times, to have to deal with.

    1. Thanks for the thoughts. It will be interesting to see if an impact results from 30 minutes and if the Public systems will also change start times to match the Catholic system. I guess we’ll have to wait and see what happens …..

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