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Students propose later start time
Want WCHS to start, end 30 minutes later
Ashlyn Reagan.jpg
Ashlyn Reagan
Chalee Womack.jpg
Chalee Womack

Does school begin too early for teens?

Warren County High School’s Student Advisory Committee recommended to Warren County School Board members on Monday they consider a later start to the high school day.

WCHS junior Chalee Womack relayed discussions held between students and WCHS principal Clark George earlier this month. 

“Next year’s daily schedule was discussed,” said Womack. “Mr. George is working with Skyward to reach a decision concerning next year’s schedule. Members recommended an 8:15 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. school day and would like to make a recommendation for consideration to the board for that time change at Warren County High School.” 

School Board members did not discuss the recommendation. School Board member Bill Zechman said he would like for the proposal to receive consideration.

Currently, all schools are on a 7:45 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. school day.

“I feel like it would encourage students to get to school on time and reduce tardiness,” said Womack, when questioned after the meeting.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the American Academy of Pediatrics have recommended both middle and high schools begin no earlier than 8:30 a.m. to ensure students receive adequate sleep so they are alert and prepared to learn. 

Womack agrees, “I feel like 8:15 a.m. would give us just a little more time in the mornings and not feel as rushed. I try to get to the high school around 7 a.m., because traffic is extremely bad. At 7:30 a.m., traffic is lined up all the way down the road. If you don’t want to be in that, you have to get here early and be rushed in the morning. That additional 30 minutes of sleep would be helpful.” 

According to the National Sleep Foundation, children ages 6-13 need between 9 and 11 hours of sleep at night. Teens age 14-17 need 8-10 hours each night. However, studies have demonstrated that most American adolescents are not getting enough sleep. Nearly 60% of middle schoolers do not get enough sleep on school nights. For high schoolers, that number is over 70%.

Student Advisory Committee member and junior Ashlyn Reagan believes the slight delay in arrival would with traffic.

“I feel like it would help with traffic congestion,” she said. “If we just did it for the high school, it would give us a break with everything starting later. Both the morning and evening traffic congestion would be alleviated.”

Womack expressed optimism that School Board members will consider their suggestion during a future meeting. “I didn’t think they would discuss it the night we made the request, but I do hope it is discussed, maybe at a future meeting, once they’ve had time to think about it.” 

The Student Advisory Committee is comprised of eight members, ideally two from each grade.