School Start Times

School Start Times

Every day bright and early Towson High students are in class, starting their day at 7:35 AM. On some days,  you’ll wake up and it’ll be pitch black outside. The negative impacts of such an early start time is starting to be recognized by officials and times are being pushed back.

So far, two counties in Maryland have made changes to their school start times. As of recently, Howard County pushed its high school start time back to 8AM. Anne Arundel County also implemented start times to 8:30AM for the first time this school year.  This trend is gaining momentum across the country, but it’s undetermined as to whether Baltimore County schools will join in. 

Around 50% of high school students in Maryland report getting 6 or less hours of sleep on school nights. As I’m sure you know, sleep deprivation can have serious consequences; both short and long term. Chronically tired students won’t be able to focus throughout the day and academic performance will decline. Not just students, but teachers and staff also have to follow the same schedule as all the students, if not earlier.

Start School Later is an organization dedicated to advocating for and ensuring that healthier and safer hours are a possibility for students. They report that the average start time for high school is 7:56 AM in Maryland, and that under the permanent Daylight Savings Time possibility, nearly all school systems would have school starting before sunrise. You can learn more about their cause and research here :

Personally, I can acknowledge that there is a benefit to starting school later. However, I don’t see the necessity. A one hour difference may seem like a lot, but it probably would do more harm than good. Many students get transportation from guardians, and parents have to balance their own schedules around school times. Suddenly changing the times could make it difficult for parents to work around that and get their kids to school/find childcare for afterwards. Also, I feel like most teenagers would just use the later times as an excuse to go to bed later. I know that’s what I would do. I understand that some students are very busy all day and have to go to bed at such a late time, but it wouldn’t change the fact that you’re in school for 6.75 hours a day. I enjoy getting out of school and being home by 3, it gives me time to relax for the rest of the day. I think it’s a lot better than middle school where with the bus I would get home around 3:40.


I think that a lot of students don’t like to make a change and just go to bed earlier. It’s natural to procrastinate, and ‘revenge bedtime procrastination’ is something that many experience. It’s when you fit in your leisure time right before you go to bed, at the expense of your sleep. A lot of people just like to go on their phones and catch up at the end of the day, which affects their sleep schedule. Just making a decision to change this and putting in an effort to go to sleep earlier will go a long way. 

To conclude, it’s unsure whether we will experience a time shift for our school day. It comes with its benefits and downsides, but this change is becoming more and more popular across the country.