Gordon Keith: School should start later

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by GORDON KEITH

WFAA contributor

Posted on August 26, 2010 at 6:52 PM

Updated Friday, Aug 27 at 3:09 PM

This is the first week of the school year for most students in Dallas-Fort Worth. I feel for them.

To me, the first week of school meant awkward reunions and wake-up times too early for most dairy farmers.

Why does school have to start so dern early? I'm trying to learn arithmetic, not run a donut shop.

I know it probably has to do with parents' work schedules, but come on — we're letting kids out of school when parents are are at work; why can't we let them go to school when they're at work instead? Then everybody comes home at the same time to fight and bicker until dinner.

A recent study in Rhode Island found that kids were much more likely to get eight hours of sleep (and be less unhappy and irritable) when the school start time was simply moved from 8 a.m. to 8:30. Even the teachers in the study said it made a huge difference.

One teacher claimed the 8:30 start time had the single most positive impact on her quality of life since she began teaching.

My teachers said the same thing about my expulsion, but don't worry about that.

Here's my proposal: Elementary schools should start at 9 a.m.; junior high at 10 a.m.; and high school ought to begin around noon (or whenever everyone rolls in).

Then at 5:30, all the kids will be out on the curb waiting to accompany mom or dad home from the road rage roller-coaster of D-FW traffic.

The biggest argument for starting the school day later? I started at 7:30, and look how I turned out.

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