School schedule influences student achievement, health



Kylie Huang, Mira Loma High School

School schedules vary from school to school, depending primarily on the decisions of administrators. Though schedules dictate a student’s everyday life, students may forget that they have the power to determine many aspects of their own agenda. Here’s how I took control of my class schedule – and how you can, too. 

Before high school I had always accepted the schedule my school designed without really thinking about why we had it or other ways our school days could be structured. It wasn’t until high school that I realized there were different ways to set up a school day. Talking with my friends from other high schools, as well as hearing my teachers discussing options, really started to make me think about what makes a schedule better. 

The schedule I’ve always been used to, and personally prefer as a result, is having six periods a day. It allows for numerous classes to be taken, without giving too large of a workload for students to deal with. 

Break is another luxury I have quickly become accustomed to. Fitting right in between the second and third periods, it provides the perfect opportunity to eat a small snack or chat with friends for a bit. Teachers also are able to take advantage of this time, which provides a small break from school for all of us. 

Schools will also now start later than what is currently portrayed in schedules. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention starting schools later gives adolescents more time to sleep in. This in turn improves “their health, academic performance, and quality of life.”  

The CDC and other health experts recommend that 13- to 18- year-olds need to sleep eight 8 to 10 hours each night. Many experts believe that allowing students to sleep in will provide them with some of these missing hours.

However, as a student myself, I know that I’ll just end up staying up later than before because I know I’ll get more time to sleep in. Because of this, it would not make a difference what time school starts. Pushing the school start time also means that school would get out later, so extracurriculars would push later in the afternoon and evening. This would continue to limit a student’s time for studying and other activities, causing them to adapt by staying up later. In the end, the problem continues to persist. 

School schedules, all in all, greatly dictate a student’s daily life. It can seem overwhelming at times, the influence it has on one’s daily and future life, but it must be remembered that there are things you yourself can do to ensure that your voice and opinions are heard. Schools are made to serve and educate students, the next generation of Americans. Don’t be afraid to speak up for what you believe in, for students most definitely do have a say in the running of their own schools.