The Possibility of a Late Start and its Impacts

The Scheduling Committee, started in 2018, has recently been trying to look at alternative schedules for students and faculty that will improve day-to-day life at school. Members of this committee include Interim Director Elizabeth Majerus, Teaching Associate of Latin Brian Lauthen, Teaching Associate of Theatre Christopher Guyotte, Assistant Director for Student Life Karl Radnitzer, and Teaching Associate of Mathematics Ioana Boca. Recently, the Scheduling Committee submitted three new potential schedule models to the Curriculum Committee which all contain a late start. A late start will potentially help students get a little bit more sleep before beginning the school day.

Majerus says that all three models that allow a late start also include new schedule changes such as block scheduling. Lauthen says that all of the models have “Uni period and a common lunch time for all grades.” One of the three models contains an 8:30 a.m. start time. In the fall of 2020, it is said that one of the models will be put into place as a trial period. Majerus plans on sending out a survey to students in order to gauge what percent of students will actually benefit from this late start. Students who can’t come to school later for various reasons will still be able to come to school at a regular time.

Majerus thinks that the majority of Uni High students will benefit from this late start and believes that students do need more sleep. However, Uni High Freshman John Brownridge expresses that “too late of a start wouldn’t be good” and how he doesn’t feel like it will affect him. In Brownridge’s opinion, going to bed late gets him less sleep because he’s used to waking up at a certain time. “It won’t change the fact that I have basketball games late which means I go to bed late,” Brownridge says.

Uni High Sophomore Ekaterina Sakhartova says, “I don’t get enough sleep because I have to go to extracurriculars and do homework, so I normally don’t go to bed until midnight or later.” A late start would be implemented to help students get more sleep but Sakhartova says, “I don’t think a late start will give me more time to sleep.”

The National Sleep Foundation explains that sleep is imperative for managing stress in our daily lives, especially for teens. According to the National Sleep Foundation, getting inadequate amounts of sleep can deter your ability to “learn, listen, concentrate and solve problems”.
Even a little bit more time sleeping can help. During the trial period of the late start, Majerus plans on conducting a survey later into the school year to see if students are getting more sleep. Lauthen says “it’s hard to say if students at Uni are sleep deprived.”

Majerus researched sleep in teens and seemed invested in trying to help teens get more rest during the night. She expressed how she “thinks about sleep a lot” and how she wanted to “make things happen” this year. Lauthen says “during Agora week there has been anecdotal evidence of students being more awake because of the later start time.” Majerus hopes that a new schedule with a later start will allow for more students to get at least a little bit more sleep.