A full schedule can also come with benefits.
“Research shows that kids who are involved do better academically,” Carlson said.
Academic arguments for later start times abound. A recent report by the RAND Corp. about whether schools begin too early for teenagers touted the economic benefits. Moving school start times past 8:30 a.m. would provide a national economic gain of $8.6 billion in the first two years and up to $140 billion after 15 years.
The Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine published a position paper advocating for later start times and said the move would have academic benefits.
“A delay in school start time has beneficial impacts on teenage students,” the paper reads.
“Studies show that implementation of later school start times for adolescents is associated with longer total sleep time, reduced daytime sleepiness, increased engagement in classroom activities, and reduced first-hour tardiness and absences.”
Again, it’s argued the ideal start time is after 8:30 a.m.
Sycamore High School’s start time for a regular schedule, 8:15 a.m., is already near the recommended time. But flexible scheduling at the school would provide for earlier and later times, depending on the preference of the student.