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The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School

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The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School

CavsConnect

Florida Changes School Starting Time

Students+regularly+find+themselves+tired+during+classes+because+of+the+early+times+but+also+because+of+the+overwhelming+stress+that+comes+with+their+school+work.
Yara Korse
Students regularly find themselves tired during classes because of the early times but also because of the overwhelming stress that comes with their school work.

Waking up drowsy, rushing in the morning because you overslept, too tired to do the work in your first class of the day and barely being able to open your eyes at the end of the day. This is a normal experience for the average high schooler in Miami-Dade County. However, most will be happy to hear that Miami-Dade County will soon be allowing their high school students an extra hour of sleep; this policy will go into effect during the 2026-2027 school year. But what students do not realize is the drawbacks that can come with these later times; after all, there are always two sides to a proposed solution.

This idea was pitched in 2019 with former Superintendent Alberto Carvalho. Carvalho wanted later times because of his concern that students in Miami-Dade were not getting enough sleep and not being educated properly as a result. He even held public meetings in hopes for parents to support this idea, but these plans were put on pause due to COVID-19. But now, in 2023, the proposal has been brought back not just for Miami-Dade but for the whole state of Florida.

Signed by Governor Ron DeSantis, this Florida bill, House Bill 733, will affect both high schools and middle schools. High schools will not be allowed to start before 8:30 with middle school actually starting earlier at 8:00 a.m., instead of their normal 9:10 a.m start time. Currently, 48% of high schools start their days before 7:30 a.m., including all Miami-Dade County public high schools.

“The later wake up time would definitely help in getting to school on time. The mornings would definitely be less stressful and you could get more sleep. But a drawback is if you end later it would give you less time in the day to do your work,” sophomore Elizabeth Hardie said.

This will become a huge transition for students to adjust to, especially with bus schedules and after school activities already becoming a routine. Changing the times by a full hour will also completely throw off a student’s sleep schedule. All these factors can affect their academic performance.

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With high school start times drastically changing, the hope is for the bill to give these students more time to sleep since the issue of sleep deprivation and how it affects education has been brought to the attention of the Florida government. However, this bill can bring unprecedented problems to high school students that would not solve the problem of sleep deprivation.

“I already get home late, at around 5:30 p.m. or 6:00 p.m. because of sports. If I have Girl Scouts afterward, then I get home 7 or 8, and then I have to do my work. If school time gets pushed back, then I’m going to get home even later, and I would be up even later to do my homework. That would ruin my sleep schedule,” sophomore Samantha Gonzalez said.

With high school times moving forward an hour, schools will end later as well, meaning at Coral Gables Senior High, students will finish at 3:30 p.m. These late times can cause problems, giving students less time to complete the work that was assigned to them from school. Students with high level classes end up with massive amounts of homework, and having an extra hour of sleep will merely push back all their activities by one hour. Some students could even stay up later, because they perceive the extra hour as an excuse to push back their sleep.

What’s more, many students feel the need to participate in clubs and sports for school. Many student athletes find themselves staying almost three hours after school for their sport practices and get to their homes hours after their peers, especially for students who live far away and may get home around 6 p.m. One group that would be affected is Gablettes, for example, who practice for hours after school and until 8:00 p.m. during competition season, will have significantly less time to do their homework or to study at home.

“I think the time right now is perfectly fine due to how far some people live from school. I know a lot of people who live really far, and getting home late can be a pain and mess up people’s schedules,” freshman Lucas Buch said.

The later times might create issues with traffic in Miami, Fla. in the morning and afternoon. This has the potential to become a nightmare for parents who have to drive their children to school and even for the students driving themselves home. Having to navigate heavy traffic during rush hour makes transportation more dangerous for students and parents alike. This policy will completely throw off the system high schoolers and middle schoolers are already used to. This might even apply to public transportation, including school buses in Miami-Dade.

“I’ve gotten used to the routine of waking up early and leaving school early; athletes also have longer practices and when they get home they would have less time to do their homework. Changing the times would definitely affect these students and completely mess up their schedules,” sophomore Sharon Contreras said.

While lawmakers have the right intentions for initiating this policy, the sleep deprivation issue that surrounds the students of Florida can not be solved simply by pushing everything back one hour. There are so many other solutions that the Florida government can take part of that may actually alleviate sleep deprivation in students, such as reducing the amount of homework in some classes or even giving Florida students a study class to reduce stress and the amount of work they have to do at home.

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About the Contributor
Yara Korse, CavsConnect Staff Writer
Yara Korse is trying her best to cruise through her second year of high school in the International Baccalaureate program. Even with all the activities she does in school, she still finds a way to keep up her 4.0 Grade Point Average. She is part of the cross country, track and field and tennis team. She is part of a few clubs in school including the International Baccalaureate Honor Society and Gables Wellness. Her solution to getting through high school is to listen to music whenever she can. She also loves to read fiction books; her favorite book series is "Percy Jackson". She wants to leave Florida when she gets out of high school and live in the Netherlands at one point in her life. When she is not drowning in the large amount of work that her amazing school gives to her, she is doing puzzles or annoying her little brother.
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  • K

    KateDec 27, 2023 at 1:51 pm

    This is not a problem.All that Palm Beach County had to do is make Elem.School start at 7:30,
    Middle School 8:30 and H.S. at 9:30.Times have been written in stone for years.
    Elementary starts at 8 am anyway. A half hour is not going to make any difference.

    Reply