Freedom Area School District should change start time to 9 a.m.


Joanna Odebode

Sixth grader Tyler Misencik falls asleep while editing newspaper articles on Feb. 6 due to lack of sleep.

Staff Editorial

Do you think you get enough sleep to get through the school day? According to, research studies have found that kids from the age of six to eleven need eleven hours of sleep. Kids go to bed at an average time of 10:30 p.m, said At our school, if middle and high school students wake at 6:30 a.m., they would only get eight hours out of the 11 hours recommended.

Last year Seneca Valley School Board decided to change their start time based on a biology study of adolescent sleep and its effect on how well kids do in school.   For grades K-6 they are starting at 8:55 a.m., and for grades 7-12 they are starting at 8:09 a.m. Whereas, for our school grades K-4 start at 9 a.m., and for 5-12 starts at 7:50 a.m.. Should our school switch the start time for middle school and high school to 9:00?

There are a lot of benefits and disadvantages to starting school at 9 a.m. One benefit is that for parents with multiple kids, students would all go to and come back from school at the same time. A disadvantage is that the school would have to pay for more buses because elementary, middle, and high school students could not fit on the same bus. Another disadvantage is we all would come home later, although we would get to wake up later. It makes sense for students to get more sleep. So we should all go to school at the same time and wake up to start at 9 a.m. Though the school may have to pay for more buses, students would be able to function better at school.

“I only get six and a half hours of sleep at night. I would feel better if I came later. Also if we did change the time I think it should be about 45 minutes later.”  said Mrs. Suleski, middle school guidance counselor. These same questions were asked to sixth grader Christopher Denkovich and sixth grader Joanna Odebode. They also said they wish they got more sleep at night and thought that school should start about an hour later.

The school should most likely change its start time to 9 a.m.. The school staff always say that they want the students to function better and go to sleep earlier.  However, currently a student would need to go to bed at 7:30 p.m. to get the recommended 11 hours of sleep, and this is not practical. One way to fix this would be to start at 9 a.m..

So, here are six other ways to help  you wake up in the morning and function better, according to Healthline:

One way to fix being tired is to use an alarm clock and set it 90 minutes before you wake up then again for when you need to wake up. Researchers say it helps you to be less tired in the morning. Another thing it says you can do is drink a glass of water in the morning. Sometimes being tired can be a sign of dehydration. It says to keep a water bottle by your side all day because dehydration makes you tired. You could also splash your face with cold water in the morning. Research has found that doing this also reduces staying home because of sickness.  If just doing it once in the morning doesn’t work then you could keep a spray water bottle next to your bed so you could spray water on yourself with your eyes closed at night! Something else you can do is to eat breakfast in the morning. Food gives you the energy you need throughout the day. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It gives you most of the energy you have to start off the day. So if you don’t eat breakfast in the morning, you will be tired until lunch time. You also should not eat sugar until lunch time. Eating something sugary for breakfast in the morning actually drains you of energy quicker.  So be wise and eat something healthy for breakfast. Last but not least, have something to look forward during the day. Sometimes all you need is a little excitement in your day.

These are a few tips to help you. Although they will not help students as much as more sleep would, they could still be helpful. Changing the school time would help so many students and parents in so many ways.  So, we should change the school’s start time to 9 a.m.

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