Schools need to reduce ‘filling’ (opinion)
For the editor:
Later school start times for high school students can only work if measures are in place so students can actually start later (“What time should school start? We asked teachers», July 13, 2022). If my secondary daughter’s school was to start later, she would still have to get there early to avoid the traffic, and then she would still have to leave later at the end of the day. Only students who live nearby would benefit from a later start time.
However, reducing all crowding in public schools – which would require far more planning and thought than changing the start time – would likely have a more profound effect on students’ sleep, stress and well-being than superficial time change.
After my daughter’s six-month exchange in Vienna, Austria last year, I realized that one of the main reasons American children are so exhausted is that they spend more time at school. school and do their homework than is necessary to prepare them for college or life.
When my daughter didn’t have lessons or when the teachers weren’t there, she could simply leave school. She had days when she left around noon or earlier, and other days when she left in the evening. She and other classmates in exchange programs found that students in Austria and Germany had less homework and spent less time in school than in the United States. Yet their curriculum included learning two, sometimes three languages in addition to their teaching native German. Their courses also included ethics, psychology, economics, as well as history, geography, mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, music and arts, and physical education. Somehow they managed to do more with less time spent in school or homework. They had a very different schedule structure.
Public schools across the United States should take note.