Where in the world do schools start late?

Picture used for illustrative purposes alone
Picture used for illustrative purposes alone

Sharjah resident Ghada Omar's 10-year-old son, who starts school at 8am, gets his eight hours of sleep but spends most of his time during the commute to Dubai.



By Sherouk Zakaria

Published: Sun 15 Jan 2017, 10:15 PM

Last updated: Mon 16 Jan 2017, 9:58 AM

In 2014, teenager Jill Dos Santos convinced her school in Columbia, Missouri, to push its start time back so students could get more sleep. Armed with research on the adolescent body clock, Santos argued, using evidence, that teenagers have a later release of the 'sleep' hormone melatonin which causes them to sleep late. After heated debate over two months, aided by her peers, officials voted to move the start time at Columbia's four high schools from 7.45am to between 8.55 and 9.10am, giving students an extra hour-plus in the mornings.
Later, hundreds of middle schools and high schools in 41 US states pushed back their start times, and the issue made headlines in American national newspapers and magazines. In the last few years, high schools in Montgomery Country in Maryland, California, Oklahoma, Georgia state and New York have pushed back their first bells, joining early adopters in Connecticut, North Carolina, Kentucky and Minnesota.
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Where in the world do schools start late?
Studies of the change in eight high schools in three states found that the later a school's start time, the better off the students were on mental health, car crash rates, attendance and, in some schools, grades and standardized test scores. In 2013, a London academy has become the first school in Britain to introduce a 10am start after research showed that teenagers do not fully wake up until mid-morning.
But many parents in the UAE object to shifting timings, saying the main problem lies in the traffic jam which will not be solved by the time delay.
Sharjah resident Ghada Omar's 10-year-old son, who starts school at 8am, gets his eight hours of sleep but spends most of his time during the commute to Dubai. "It's the traffic that makes kids wake up so early, especially those who live far away from school and have to get up at 5am," she said.
Francesca Rodgers, mother of three, said it is important for parents to set proper seeping schedule for their children. "Traffic will remain an issue even if school timings were delayed, but an early start for children is better as they cannot remain focused past early afternoons," said Rodgers.
sherouk@khaleejtimes.com
@sherry_sh93


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