School’s Starting Later?


Eirini Drosos, editor

 Here at The Eagle’s Cry, many reporters have discussed school start times.  Students have frequently expressed their desire to start school later.  Seniors jump at the chance to take first period off; senior Sean Meaney thinks that having first period off helps him to “perform better during school hours” because he has experienced an “increase in quality and amount of sleep” due to starting his day 42 minutes later.  Even beloved English teacher Ms. Corson admits that she would “love to start later.” 


Jericho High School’s schedule is as follows:


Period 2 (Extra Help, AIS, Clubs) 8:15 a.m. 8:55 a.m.

Period 3 (Homeroom) 8:59 a.m. – 9:39 a.m.

Period 4 9:43 a.m. – 10:23 a.m. 

Period 5 10:27 a.m. – 11:07 a.m. 

Period 6 11:11 a.m. – 11:51 a.m. 

Period 7 11:55 a.m. – 12:35 p.m. 

Period 8 12:39 p.m. – 1:19 p.m. 

Period 9 1:23 p.m. – 2:03 p.m. 

Period 10 2:07 p.m. – 2:47 p.m 

Period 11 2:51 p.m. – 3:31 p.m


Maybe Jericho is on to something?  


Jericho starts an hour and a half later than Bethpage, and only gets out an hour later.  Jericho is also ranked as the best school district on Long Island, and has the highest combined SAT scores of 2016 of all districts on Long Island.  Study after study has proven that adolescents would greatly benefit from a later start time, not only allowing them extra sleep, but also improving alertness in class and performance on tests.


If so many studies exist proving a link between later start times and better academic performance, and students and teachers alike long for a later start to their day, why doesn’t Bethpage make the switch?


“Well, a change like that would take years to implement,” explains Mr. Jantz, principal of Bethpage High School.  He pointed out many aspects of the school that would need to change in order to facilitate starting our day later.  “Traffic, daycare, even things you wouldn’t think of such as food supplier schedules…we would have to look into it all and see how a change like this would impact everything.”


Mr. Jantz did concede that as more and more schools are following the trend of starting later, it may be more plausible as the movement gains speed. As of right now, although Mr. Jantz as well as many students and teachers would love the extra sleep in the morning, it just can’t happen.