CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – School districts across the country are changing their daily schedules this year, starting classes a little later in the morning.
For one thing, the Centers for Disease Control recommends an 8:30 first bell. That gives the kids more time to sleep. “Our middle schoolers should be getting nine to 10, or more, hours of sleep each night”, says Dr Therese Linnon, a pediatrician with Akron Children’s Hospital. “And for our high schoolers, eight or more hours of sleep each night,” she says.
The experts say that starting the school day later puts students in a better time of day to focus. And not getting enough sleep can affect students’ concentration and ability to learn. Dr Linnon continues, “It can also affect their attitudes, their behaviors, and their demeanors. So optimal sleep is important to make sure they’re at their best, they’re on task, they’re on focus and they’re pleasant and ready to go.”
The Canfield Schools are buying in. Last school year, middle and high school students started at 7:30. Starting Aug. 31 when classes resume at Canfield, the first class in the high school will be at 7:45. At the middle school, it’ll be 7:55.
Canfield Local Schools Superintendent Alex Geordan says, “We made the move not only to give those students a little more time in the morning to rest, but also to make our transportation fleet more efficient.”
But why not even later in the morning, like 8:15? “What that does is it changes the high school day altogether when it comes to after-school activities as well. So you have to have a good balance there”, says Geordan.
It’s the first year in memory that the district starts classes before the Canfield Fair. But students will go to school Aug. 31 and Sept. 1, get the six days of the fair off, then return on Sept.8.