Lois M. Collins: School start times are designed for everything but the kids we're trying to educate

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  • junkgeek Agua Dulce, TX
    Aug. 28, 2014 12:05 p.m.

    In Texas, we have early morning seminary at 6am or 7am (no released-time; we follow the celestial model for seminary). School runs from 8:30-3:45. Works like a charm, especially for the parents.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Aug. 27, 2014 1:51 p.m.

    If school was designed with kids in mind, it would start at 10 and be over by 2.

    Aug. 26, 2014 9:29 p.m.

    I agree with the study. School should start at a civilized hour, not during astronomical twilight. Starting school in the middle of the night so it can let out in the early afternoon is a bad idea.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    Aug. 26, 2014 7:25 p.m.

    I can feel the love for the children from these comments.

  • eagle Provo, UT
    Aug. 26, 2014 7:21 p.m.


    This Eagle would rather not be India.

    This is a new reality. Most students that are lucky enough to have jobs aren't working on a dairy farm. They are at McDonald's sometimes past 10:00 p.m.

    I think it's time to look at these studies and quit being curmudgeons. It might make more productive students and a more productive country.

  • OlderGreg USA, CA
    Aug. 26, 2014 3:31 p.m.

    Some teachers do assign homework as if there were nothing else in life but the one class. That late (early?) texting thing is one of those major "Duh!" factors.

    Some speak of the poor kids natural biological rhythms. The solar cycle is the natural basis of that. They can be consciously modified with time and effort. But we mess with that with rotating shifts, daylight savings, organized activity overload, and the siren call of tech.

    Changing school starting time will merely result in yet another artificial shift that will have to be dealt with eventually.

  • Seronac Orem, UT
    Aug. 26, 2014 1:19 p.m.

    Studies and experience (as a educator) show that school times are too early, and perhaps, that early morning seminary should be reconsidered. I don't recall the source, but one district changed the high school start time to 9am and saw an 85% increase in test scores. While it's true that the world doesn't and shouldn't revolve around us or our kids, it is also true that the world needs to work for the humans that are in it, and this adjustment would improve that function.
    I, for one, would love to live in a society like Spain, where everything pauses midday for a siesta. You wouldn't expect a 5 year old to do the work of a thirty year old, so how can we expect a 15 year old to work like a 50 year old? Sure they need to learn to deal with opposition, but why create it for them?
    Let's get realistic, people, and make the world work for humans instead of the other way around.

  • TheProudDuck Newport Beach, CA
    Aug. 26, 2014 12:52 p.m.

    When schoolchildren start paying union dues, the education establishment will start putting their needs first.

    And yes: Early-morning LDS seminary is counterproductive.

  • Sherri Crowley Clinton, Davis, UT
    Aug. 26, 2014 12:02 p.m.

    As a mother of a teenager with bipolar disorder, who graduated in May 2014, I would just like to say that changing to a later high school start time would be a great step in a positive direction. Teens, in general, need more sleep than adults; and they have difficulty falling asleep as early as adults do. For teens with bi-polar disorder the need for appropriate sleep is magnified many times. Proper sleep can reduce the risk of manic episodes greatly. Manic episodes are a major causal factor in suicide attempts. Unfortunately, my daughter had several classmates each year that she was in school who committed suicide. These were seriously traumatizing events for the entire school community. As big a problem as mental health has become for our teens, I feel it would be irresponsible of us not to consider a change in start times, especially when it has researched evidence and doctor support behind it that backs the claim that it helps these at risk kids.

  • GeorgiaGem Atlanta, GA
    Aug. 26, 2014 11:04 a.m.

    Perhaps the LDS church should rethink early-morning seminary.

  • Samwise Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 26, 2014 10:05 a.m.

    Kids needing to wake up early and being busy with productive activities all day is nothing new, and nothing bad. For example, in the 60s and 70s when my Dad was growing up he woke up really early to work on the family farm, went to school, then went to either football, basketball, or baseball practice, depending on which sport was in season. I think he also had a part-time job in High School. He found time to study enough to maintain a High School GPA of around 3.9 (unweighted). He has continued this work ethic for his entire life resulting in much success and has the least amount of health issues for someone his age out of everyone I know. His "secret" (not really much of a secret at all)? Going to bed early. As the wise Ben Franklin once said: "Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise."

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    Aug. 26, 2014 10:05 a.m.

    While we're at it, I'm noticing that my job is interfering with my desire to stay up late playing on my phone. Work start times are designed for everything but the workers. I can't be expected to be productive at 8:00 a.m.! Let's petition the corporate world to let us start at 10!

  • J in AZ San Tan Valley, AZ
    Aug. 26, 2014 9:33 a.m.

    Perhaps you should all read the actual report

    This is a public health issue not good bad or indifferent parenting. Sleep works best for the body when it is in the natural time frame for a person's age. There is plenty of research documenting the sleep and health issues related to shift work. There is also plenty of data about illness, injury, and death rates of adolescents, particularly in farming where improper and inadequate sleep cycles are no doubt a contributing factor.

    Changing school and work schedules to that people can get adequate sleep and be at the top of their game in the classroom and the workplace would be good for the nation, For once, maybe it's a good idea to re-order how the world works in order to prevent health issues rather then clean up the mess afterward.

  • Eagles63 Provo, UT
    Aug. 26, 2014 9:30 a.m.

    Well, I'm working in India where kids go to school 6 days a week from 8 to 4. Many, go to boarding school away from their parents for 6 months at a time. To afford this, the parents are working six days a week on a 12 hour shifts often around the clock. Vacations are few in between and the sacrifice to educate is massive. I'm not saying kids don't need sleep, but my experience with my 7 kids (5 teenagers) has been go to bed early (it can be done).

  • Paul in MD Montgomery Village, MD
    Aug. 26, 2014 9:23 a.m.

    I had early morning seminary at 6:00, high school started anywhere from 7:30 to 7:10. I also worked 3 nights a week during my senior year. I went to bed at 10:00, got up at 4:30. My body got used to it. I would fall asleep almost as soon as my head hit the pillow, and I would wake up just before my alarm went off. I graduated from high school with a GPA of 3.75, weighted GPA 4.5.

    No, not everyone can do that. My experience with kids and getting them up at certain times, is that if you tell them they have to get up at a later time, they will find ways to stay up later to offset any benefit of sleeping in. If they need to get more sleep, they really can go to bed earlier.

  • mufasta American Fork, UT
    Aug. 26, 2014 9:16 a.m.

    This is ridiculous. Get the kids to bed earlier and they will not be sleep deprived. It's a novel concept when parents are required to be parents.

  • Oatmeal Woods Cross, UT
    Aug. 26, 2014 8:06 a.m.

    Yes, turn the cell phones off after 10 pm. Phone curfew is 9 pm in my house.

    Early morning seminary could go online with activities on weeknights or weekends. Released-time seminary should offer classes after school and on weekends.

    Physical activity during and after school promotes healthy sleep patterns.

    Even with that, 7:30 is very early to begin the school day. Push it back to at least 8:00.

  • Topher Herriman, UT
    Aug. 26, 2014 7:32 a.m.

    It's too bad parents aren't being parents. For instance, many years ago when I was going to high school and catching the bus at 6:30 am, I had already been up for at least one hour because of caring for animals. There is still 24 hours in a day, last time I checked.
    One of the biggest problems is the phone that everyone seems to need. We can't turn them off at night for fear we might miss something. Hey Mom and Dad, be the parents and, if necessary, lock up the phones overnight. Have a regular schedule set up for kids to follow, ie bedtime at 9:00 pm, wake up at a time necessary to get to school/work on time. I've got news for some of you, work start times are just as early as school start times and some are earlier.
    Life is full of inconveniences, learn to adapt and overcome. Quit blaming everyone and everything else for your children's problems. Start looking in the mirror to see who the responsible person is for raising your children. Set your children up for success not failure or culture shock when they get out of school.

  • Ball Boy Payson, UT
    Aug. 26, 2014 7:04 a.m.

    Here are a few easier steps to try before we make wide scale changes to something that has been in practice for decades:

    1-Turn off cell phones at 10:00 p.m.
    2-Leave cell phones to charge on kitchen table. Not in the bedroom.
    3-Go to bed.
    4-Sleep cell phone free.
    5-Drink a little less soda & eat a little less sugar.

    Then sit back & see if that helps.

    If not then I'll listen to your study.

  • Needtosleep The woodlands, TX
    Aug. 26, 2014 7:01 a.m.

    This is so true. This article does not address the Zero hour that too many schools have now with early hour school programs. Furthermore, the LDS church early seminary program. We need some sleep. We have seminary at 5:30 AM in out area. If it was this early in Utah, the church would make a change from their own kids getting up early. We need to have seminary in the afternoon or Saturday and forget this early hour where the kids are not learning. Sleeping in seminary and then throughout the school day. Very unproductive. Not family friendly

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Aug. 26, 2014 6:16 a.m.

    Sometimes, what is ideal is not realistic.

    We are not merely talking about moving school times back 1/2 hour. The ramifications are much more significant than that. Primarily, adults with jobs.

    A good lesson for kids is this. The world will not conform to you. Get used to it.

  • PeachM London, 00
    Aug. 26, 2014 1:19 a.m.

    How does this square with kids being sent to early morning seminary?