An application for Spring Valley to start an hour later and was denied, according to Principal Tam Larnerd, because the change would cost the district upward of $1.3 million.
The want for change was driven by new opportunities for students, particularly in the International Baccalaureate program, to gain an extra elective period. If the change went through, one IB class would have been offered as an early bird, freeing up an extra elective for students in the program.
“I think it will be a great opportunity for our students to possibly extend their learning opportunities beyond just the traditional school day,” Larnerd said.
Some students, IB especially, would appreciate starting later in order to get more sleep and less stress when it comes to the overbearing amount of work they are given.
“I woke up this morning thinking I was Juliet, I’m not even kidding. I spent seven hours working on the English project and I woke up this morning like ‘Where’s Romeo?’” IB freshman, Gabrielle Conley said.
Students often sacrifice their sleep in order to finish projects. Having to wake up early to get ready seems like a waste of time to even take the extra hour or so of sleep if they were working on something late into the night.
“A later start time would be good for a variety of reasons, mostly allowing them to get more rest, IB coordinator, Tony Gebbia, said. “It would give them a choice of electives or, for any student, flexibility.”
Clark County School District transportation denied the school’s application for the second time in the past two years because they are unable to pair Spring Valley with complementary schools and buses. Currently, buses are shared by elementary, middle and high schools in the same area to save money.
“As for people who want to do more, but don’t have time after school, it’s easier just because you get an extra hour basically,” IB freshman, Chantry Harris said. “I would do that honestly, wake up an hour earlier just to get more done in classes.”
Although this idea targets IB students, whose classes take up seven of the eight standard school day periods, students who are not committed to the IB diploma could have benefited.
“It can be pretty difficult to get ourselves up in the morning, especially for something that most students hate, like school. So giving a little extra time to get yourself up, especially if you’re in a program that focuses more on above average learning, could be extremely beneficial,” said sophomore, Erwin Henson.
“To be honest, I’m already used to the time now, I don’t really think it should change,” IB sophomore and athlete, Alyssa Warren said. “Basketball and track usually start around 2:00 right now, so I guess pushing it to a later time like 3:00 or something, I would have to leave because I can’t stay here past 5:00.”
A change in start time would also impact after school activities. For away games that start at 3:00, student athletes may have to be escorted to lunch and put on the bus immediately,
which may present quite a few issues.
“I read a study that said teenagers’ brains don’t fully process information until after 10, so I think that 8 is still a little bit early, but I think it would be beneficial in the sense of you know, 7:00, because that’s really early.” said IB freshman, Adara Pesqueira.
While certain IB students who want to get more done would love the change, there has been much negative backlash, especially from student athletes or students who have commitments to time-consuming activities.
“When practice ends at at a later time, I get home at a later time, so I won’t be able to complete all my schoolwork,” said IB freshman and girls’ basketball player, Melie Hailemeskel.