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The Current

The Current

Editorial: New start time succeeds

Editorial cartoon by Desi Kreiter

The new school year is off, and unlike 2015-16, this school year tick-tocks its way with a brand new start time. Last year’s start time, 7:30 a.m., has been pushed out by an hour to 8:30 a.m.

This change caused quite the uproar when it was first released to the public. Mixed emotions stirred amongst students and faculty. But now that the school year has started, we at the Current believe the start time is beneficial for all.

District Superintendent Louise Johnson was a big supporter for the change. Dr. Johnson says her heart was “committed to the change when I read a study of 40 school districts across the United States and they found that when middle and high schools made this change grades went up, absences went down, behavior problems went down, teen anxiety and depression went down and teen car crashes went down.”

According to the research, the time change has drastically effected car crash statistics involving high school students. From August 19, 2015, 9.25%  of car crashes involved a teen driver. On June 10, 2016, only 2.85% of car crashes involved teen drivers, the research states.

Dr. Johnson continued to express her connection with this topic.

“My heart was further touched when I looked at our own data of grade 9 and 11 students administered through the California Healthy Kids Survey and saw the numbers of students who self reported mental health concerns and consideration of suicide.”

The change in time has positively affected the daily lives of Bear River students in ways they never considered.

“I like that I get an extra hour of sleep,” said Mallory Borrego, a junior.

In addition, Abigail Weir, a junior, appreciates the extra drive time. She said making the commute every morning from Colfax can definitely be a drag for both her and her mom.

“I don’t have to wake up early for my commute,” Weir said.

Unfortunately, not every student has a parent capable of driving them to school. Thanks to this change, students who ride the bus get a chance to gain a decent amount of sleep. Dr. Johnson was able to determine the exact moment she became committed to a more convenient and healthy school schedule.

“In 2013 I went to my first parent meeting and I looked at the bus schedule…” Dr. Johnson said. “The first bus stop was at 5:30. … That’s nuts.”

The change didn’t only effect the students — it also effected the teachers. Biology and AP Environmental Science teacher Jennifer Weir appreciates that “it is light when I leave my house.”

Dark mornings are long gone, leaving this year with a bright new time perspective for academics.


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Editorial: New start time succeeds