Some Winnipeg School Division trustees think that local high school students starting their day too early.
Trustee Chris Broughton noted that the idea of starting lessons for high school students later is now under study. According to him, this initiative was put forward by one of his colleagues about a year ago. The administration was interested in the idea and it was decided to study in detail all the pros and cons of switching to a later time to start classes for high school students. It is necessary to study in particular the question of the influence of the beginning of classes on the academic performance of students, he added.
“We’ve been looking at the research that adolescents have a change in their circadian rhythm – where they stay up a little later at night and tend to sleep in more in the morning as a natural rhythm for their sleep – and harnessing that to try and maximize their learning potential,” stated Broughton.
Broughton also said that the idea is still very far from becoming a reality. Its main goal is to make the schedule of high school students more flexible and to give them more free time in the morning. Broughton believes that this should positively affect the performance of many high school students. However, he understands that such changes in the schedule will entail a number of inevitable changes in other aspects of school life.
“None of these changes would occur in isolation,” he said. “Everything from how students get to and from school to teachers’ schedules would be impacted. The difficulty obviously isn’t just starting the school day a little bit later, but that means the school day has to end later, and that changes things dramatically throughout our communities.”
Broughton also noted that this issue requires consultation with the students themselves, with their teachers, families, and urban society in general.