The student news site of McNeil High School

The Trailblazer

The student news site of McNeil High School

The Trailblazer

The student news site of McNeil High School

The Trailblazer

School Starts Too Early

As of July 17 this year, Round Rock ISD announced that, “… elementary, middle and high schools will start school five minutes earlier than the previous year.” At McNeil, this means classes will begin promptly at 9:00 am. Although this is only a small adjustment, some students have complained about the new changes. 


“Five minutes is really crucial,” sophomore Soren Kudlek said. “Think about everything you could get done in five minutes.” 


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With the majority having a negative opinion on the new schedule, we have to consider: Does school start too early? 


On the surface, the answer seems to be no; McNeil’s start time is very leisurely. The average starting time for public high schools in America is about 8:00 a.m., according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Compared to other schools and districts, we allow much more time in the morning before school.


However it is not that simple. Despite the later start time at McNeil, our students are just as tired as everyone else. The CDC reports that only six to 10 percent of high school students get nine or more hours of sleep per night. Based on a survey, the amount of sleep that the average McNeil student gets is seven hours. This is under the ideal amount of sleep for a teenager, which is set at about eight to 10 hours per night. 


“The teacher is lecturing, and my eyes are closing,” Junior Enzo Moreno said. 


On a nationwide scale, 72 percent of high school students do not receive enough sleep on school nights. American high school students are chronically tired, and no one is blinking an eye. What’s even worse, a state of sleepiness negatively affects a students’ performance dramatically. In an article by The Washington Post regarding college students’ sleeping habits and GPA, they stated that, “Researchers found that every lost hour of average nightly sleep at the start of an academic term was associated with a 0.07-point drop in a student’s end-of-term GPA.” On the other hand, every additional hour of sleep increased GPA by 0.07. 


At McNeil, it is valued to help all students promote excellence in academics. But by starving our students of sleep, we are limiting their potential. While we may not start school as early as other districts, that does not mean that our start time is as beneficial as it could be.  

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About the Contributor
Camryn Lee, Reporter
Hello! My name is Camryn Lee and this is my third year on The Trailblazer staff. I really enjoy writing opinion and entertainment related articles. I also partake in passive photography. My favorite show is House M.D.

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