CHS Students React to New School Start Times

By Madison Hurr and Arjun Swaminathan

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You’re staring at the clock… it’s 2:09. Just one more minute until the bell rings. Just one more minute until you are free. But wait, you remember that school now ends at 2:30.
Since the 20-minute delay in school start times, MCPS high school students have had an extra 20 minutes to sleep in.
“To be honest, for students, I don’t see much of a difference,” AP Economics and Multivariable Calculus teacher Monica Malanoski said. “For me, it’s better because I have extra time to help out in the morning.”
Despite the extra 20 minutes to get ready for school, some students are unhappy about the change because they feel the extra time conflicts with extracurricular activities.
“I think people who play sports are a little negatively affected by it because it either gives them less time between school and practice or makes their practice longer so they have less time for homework,” senior Jackie Zidar said.
In a survey of 50 CHS students, 38 percent of the students indicated that they did not favor the new start times, citing reasons such as extracurriculars ending later, increased morning traffic and a general sense of ineffectiveness.
“Because of the start times, I don’t get home from crew until 7 or 7:30 p.m.,” senior Brie Ritter said. “Pushing the time back just makes it more inconvenient and confusing.”
In addition, most of the respondents who oppose the later start time stated that their sleeping schedule remains the same, but now they have less time to study and do homework.
“I just lie in my bed listening to music or doing nothing for 15 minutes,” Ritter said.
A number of students indicated that 20 minutes is not enough. Pushing school back to 8 a.m. would be considered a more optimal start time. However, the majority held a favorable overall opinion of the change.
“I get up at the same time but use the 20 minutes to actually wake up and have a real breakfast instead of running out the door,” Zidar said. “I like that I’m not that stressed in the morning.”
Some students are ambivalent about the new bell times.
“It doesn’t really make much of a difference to me,” senior Austin Yang said. “I just go to bed later and wake up later.”
Ultimately, the overall reaction to the change has been positive.
“I have so much more extra time in the morning to prepare for school,” senior Jeffrey Li said. “It’s more relaxing because I’m so used to waking up at 6:30.”