Although this school year has been disappointing in more ways than one, the biggest silver lining of the year has definitely been the late start time. Teachers and students alike can agree that one hour has made all the difference in making the day at least a little more tolerable. The question is what happens when COVID-19 gets under control and things are mostly back to normal? Should this late start time continue? It would be in the best interest of the entire Saint Ignatius community to keep the 9 a.m. start time.
After becoming so accustomed to a whole extra hour, many agree that starting any earlier is hard to imagine. There is also scientific evidence that supports starting school at a later time. Teenagers don’t start releasing melatonin, the hormone that helps us fall asleep, until later in the night, this means that we need to wake up later in order to get the recommended 8 to 10 hours of sleep every night. Before this year, some Ignatians would wake up at 5am or earlier just to get to school on time or make an early morning practice. Now students are able to get a couple extra hours of sleep, which means better performance in the classroom and overall school productivity. However, not just students’ performance improves as a result of the 9 o’clock start time; teachers also have more time to plan lessons and be more productive.
Commuting has also completely changed as a result of both the start time and the large amount of people working from home. Ignatians come from all over the city and its surrounding areas that commute times can sometimes reach two hours. This new start time has cut commuting time in half for many. Instead of falling asleep in first period or impeding traffic on the highway, students can sleep in, enjoy a breakfast, or even catch up on homework during their newfound free time.
While the future of school life post COVID seems far away, Igantians call agree that keeping this one luxury would be beneficial to the entire school community.