ODA Sleeps In

ODA Sleeps In

Most students feel the same way about waking up on those early morning school days: they’d give anything to stay in bed just a tiny bit longer. This year, ODA students’ wishes came true. School is starting this year at 8:30 instead of 8, an announcement that initially created excitement all around.

It wasn’t until that, however, that the realization that school would have to dismiss 30 minutes  later as well. This reality did not result in quite as much enthusiasm. Thus, two sides were created on the subject of school not only starting, but also ending, 30 minutes later.

The reasoning for this decision to shift the schedule forward by 30 minutes was based in research that says high school age students are more awake and prepared to learn at 8:30 than 8. Many faculty believed that these findings were  enough reason to make the change. While some students think that it is worth staying the extra 30 minutes as long as they can sleep in more, others are frustrated by the decision.

“The new schedule makes the whole day feel longer. It interferes with after school plans and activities,” says senior Christian Nold.

Many students have after school practices, rehearsals, or other extracurricular activities to get to, and while school teams work around the new schedule, out of school activities do not. Students are now forced to either rush or arrive late to any after school obligation just because they now dismiss from school later.

The other frustration of students is that while the decision was made in their best interests, some students feel they should have been asked for their opinions about a schedule change. Some say that had they been asked what they wanted, they would have voted against the change.

Contrary to some student concern about the school’s lack of consideration for their opinions, the school’s goal was to put academics and student well-being first when they made the decision to move the day back.

According to an article published on November 17, 2011 in the Huffington Post called “Teens Benefit from Later School Day” the extra 30 minutes can mean “more alertness in class, better moods, less tardiness, and even healthier breakfasts.”

“It is a much more relaxed approach or start to the school day. It’s worth making some sacrifices on the tail of the day,” states Mrs. Dougherty. “It’s been in research for decades that adolescents function best around 9. You can’t ignore that research forever. If you’re looking out for what’s best for high school students, you need to start incorporating that.”

“[The schedule change] doesn’t have that profound of a negative impact on me. I like the option of more sleep,” says Senior Cameron Graham.

Whatever the opinion may be, students and faculty are adapting and finding ways to make it work in a positive way for the 2014-2015 school year.

So go ahead. Hit the snooze a couple more times. You might not be late this year.