Do we start too early?

Jay Yu, Editor

Controversy exists on whether or not the school day should begin at a later time. A school’s start time might directly affect student’s learning ability and concentration. There are benefits of both arguments, but what do the experts say about the issue. 

Some people prefer to start their day as early as possible so that they can focus better with a fresh mind. Others might wonder how they can concentrate when the days begin so early. People who do not like the early start time often feel sleepy or manic when they arrive at school. This constant debate is more complicated because the students at Totino-Grace High School also have to consider traffic conditions, locations, and etc. The administrative staffs at Totino Grace have had a few options that can come up with a solution and possibly end or at least, reduce this constant argument.

This is a constant debate at Totino-Grace because it is a complicated issue. Teachers, students, and staff have to consider traffic conditions, locations, and after-school activities. 

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, among an estimated 39,700 public middle school, high, and combined schools in the United States, and the average start time was 8:03 a.m. In Minnesota, the data shows that the average start time is at 8:18 a.m. Hence, Totino-Grace High School starts relatively earlier than the average schools in Minnesota. Totino-Grace High School’s bell rings at 7:25 a.m. and the students have to be in their homeroom at 7:30 a.m.

Currently, the TG students come from various areas in Minnesota. Andrew Nguyen, a senior student, mentioned that it takes 20 minutes to come to TG and said, “I do think it is too early because around the time I leave my house, there is traffic.” Andrew Nguyen believes that coming to school even a half an hour later would help everyone at Totino-Grace. His reasoning is because it gives students more time to sleep and helps with traffic for students.

Mr. Jeff Ferguson, Dean of Students at Totino-Grace, said the school has talked about a later start time. Mr. Ferguson points out that one of the challenges is, the later you start, the later you finish. School activities might be delayed because of traffic and locations of the TG games and events. 

Totino -Grace High School changed the daily schedule in 2013 -2014 to the current school hours,  7:30 a.m.  2:15 p.m. The most significant change was shifting to a rotating schedule. The benefits of having the rotating system are a longer period of time in each class, only six classes a day, and adding variety to each day. 

Gavin Lemay, a senior student at TG, lives 40 minutes away. Lemay would change the school starting time to 8 a.m. because of traffic. When TG has an hour delayed schedule, Lemay has more time to do some homework and he can sleep in. He mentioned that he would have a disadvantage if the school began later. 

Because of the students’ extracurricular activities, locations of home, and modes of transportation, the preferences might depend on each student at Totino-Grace High School. The administrative staff at TG will consider options in order to best serve the learning needs of the TG students.