The Student News Site of Cranford High School


The Student News Site of Cranford High School


The Student News Site of Cranford High School



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Should CHS Push Back School Start Times?

Should CHS Push Back School Start Times?


School start times have been one of the greatest controversies concerning districts all around the nation. When it comes to Cranford High School, many students come trickling in as the bell rings and teachers are then inclined to mark them late. Unfortunately, that one minute in the morning makes a significant difference in students’ attendance. However, if CHS were able to implement later school start times, that would increase students’ attendance rate and also allow students and teachers to have more time to get to school in the morning, and give students more sleep which would result in increased focus in the classroom. 

To demonstrate, the American Psychological Association  states “the optimal amount of sleep for adolescents is approximately 9 ¼ hours nightly.” Generally, younger children receive enough sleep, but most adolescents do not. This pattern grows tremendously throughout the teenage years. The article additionally cites that sleep deprivation leads to problems with attendance. At CHS, fivetardies result in a lunch detention, which, if later neglected, may become a central detention. These consequences all arise from the amount of time the student has to get to school in the morning. Most adolescents may feel sluggish in the morning due to the lack of sleep they received the night prior. With later start times, morning classes would see stellar attendance. 

Additionally, extra time in the morning may prevent students and teachers from rushing to school in the morning. Many CHS staff members commute up to an hour every day; if school start times were pushed back, teachers and staff may not have to wake up early in order to get to school on time. This surplus of time in the morning may also create openings for extra help sessions, club meetings, and time for make-up tests. 

Finally, it is proven that just 30 extra minutes of sleep drastically improves academic performances. A 2018 article by the University of Washington  states that “thirty-four minutes of extra sleep each night is a huge impact to see from a single intervention.” The study also reveals that final grades were 4.5 percent higher for students who took a biology class after start times were pushed back compared to students who took the class when school started earlier. Good grades may lead to more successful graduates and better reports for CHS, which could increase the population of students and attract more people to reside in Cranford. 

In summary, a good night’s rest may improve students’ attendance, allow for extra time in the morning commute wise and study wise, and also motivate students to be more stimulated and participate in the classrooms. 


The biggest complaint among students of Cranford High School about the 8:00 a.m. start time is that, for the majority of the year, the sun hasn’t risen by the time the irritable sound of an alarm clock jolts them awake.  However, some fail to acknowledge that the dark beginning of their day allows for more sunlight after school.  The duration of after-school sports practices held on fields or courts without lights would be cut in half.  Not only could this substantially damage CHS’s sports program, but it would also be extremely expensive to uproot the typical busing patterns and routes.  The school may have to pay for more buses or bigger ones, as parents who work early in the morning might not be able to accommodate the later time.  Furthermore, according to the National Library of Medicine, less time in the sunlight can lead to numerous health detriments such as Vitamin D deficiencies or a weakened immune system. 

“Bell schedules don’t just affect students,” explains the HopSkipDrive article “How Changing Bell Times are Affecting School Transportation,” “Communities and cities — and entire economies — are built around students attending school at certain times.” Pushing back school start times could be catastrophic for local small businesses who rely on high school employees.  By reducing the amount of time students are able to work, later start times reduce how long shops with a primarily teenage workforce are able to stay open and make revenue.  Working is critical for teenagers to develop life skills and begin saving money for college.  Pushing back start times drastically hinders the amount of time devoted to maintaining after school jobs.

Another main argument in favor of delaying school start times is student drowsiness during classes and while driving to school.  While this is an increasingly large issue in a number of school districts, changing start times is a redundant solution. Causing students to get home later will give them less time to do homework and, in turn, create a cycle of altered circadian rhythms as students try to stay up later to finish their work. Assigning less homework and educating students on how to relax their brains before sleeping would be a much more effective measure.

Overall, there are a multitude of schools that would benefit from later school start times.  CHS, however, already begins later than the New Jersey average of 7:51 am and a later school start time would do more harm than good.  Due to a lack of sunlight, issues with busing schedules, an inability to hold an after school job, shorter sports practices, and little to no help increasing hours of sleep, later school start times are an adverse choice for CHS.




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