Late start.

Is pushing back the start time of school really beneficial to the students?

As an overall staff, we have unanimously agreed that a late start for Utica Community Schools would not be beneficial. For example Cherry Creek High School starts at 8:20 a.m. and ends at 3:30 p.m.. If UCS were to do this, there would be a couple of drawbacks.

One major downside would be that it would make things a lot more difficult for athletes and students involved in extracurricular activities. If the school day was pushed back, then sports practices and extracurricular activities would be pushed back as well. Most of these practices range from around one to two hours. For example, our managing editor plays varsity basketball and he has practice that starts right after school at 2:30 and ends at 4:30. If we had late start in place then his practice would not start until roughly 3:45 and it would go until 5:45. This would take away a lot of time from his day, giving him less time for homework and leisure. This would also affect the junior varsity and freshman sports teams. In a lot of cases, the JV and freshmen teams use the same facilities as the varsity teams, so they aren’t able to practice until the varsity finishes first. So members of the JV and freshmen teams wouldn’t get out of practice until eight or nine o’clock. This not only takes away time for these students to do homework but it also makes it more harder on the parents that have to drive them to and from practices.

If late start was implemented it would also have a big impact on students with jobs. The state of Michigan requirements for minors states that a minor cannot start work before 3:00 p.m.. Which means that most work places would like their employees to start right at 3:00 p.m.. If UCS got out of school at 3:30 p.m., then they would be put at a disadvantage. They would be able to work less hours, and they would also have little to no time to study and get their homework done. This also puts students trying to get a job at a disadvantage. For example if a Utica student was applying for a job, and a student from another school district that does not implement late start applied for the same job, then the work place would automatically pick the other student because they could come into work much sooner.

Late start would also have a significantly negative impact on students that have younger siblings in primary schools. For example Cherry Creek High School gets out of school at 3:30 p.m., but their elementary schools get out at 2:45 p.m.. So, if a high school student had a younger sibling that went to an elementary that implemented late start, and they had parents who had to work past 4:00 p.m., then the younger sibling would be home alone for almost an hour. This situation would force the parents to most likely pay to put the younger sibling into a daycare of some kind.

A major benefit that is argued for late start is that the students will get a larger and healthier amount of sleep, but those of us with busy schedules will just have to stay up an hour or so later to finish everything. Even if some of us don’t have busy schedules, let’s be honest, we are going to stay up later at night regardless just because we can.