More options and choices on what works best for everyone
By Shaylee King and Lauren Penington
This year Cherry Creek High School moved their school start time to 9 o’Clock. “There’s been a lot of studies over the years that show that teenage brains are on a little different schedule. They tend to want to stay up later, so getting up at six-something is really hard” librarian Carrie Denman said. Yet, other issues arise when start times are pushed back.
“When I’ve talked to students about that, a big concern is sports” Denman said. If practice doesn’t start until 4, or later, then it starts to get dark. If they travel far for games even more complications can come up.
“Also, students that have jobs or students who have to get home when their little brothers or sister are home to take care of them,” Denman added. So the question becomes, how do we create a schedule that will encompass everyone’s needs?
Legend used to offer a variety of zero hour classes, but over the years the number has dwindled. “A zero hour class is a class that takes place before first hour. Typically speaking, most zero hours start at 7 am. It gives kids a chance to take a class earlier in the morning so they can fit in all their stuff with their busy schedule,” chemistry teacher Jay Zimmerman said. “I found a lot of the kids were really motivated to come in and get work done in the morning and most of them did very very well in the class.”
Zero hours were, and still could be, beneficial. However, some people are just not morning people. “If we could offer more zero hour classes, or even a ninth hour class when kids could go later, I think it’d be better if kids had some more options and choices on what works best for them” Zimmerman said. “I also think teachers could have that choice- are they morning people or are they afternoon people?”
“What would be cool, though it may not be financially feasible,” Denman said, “would be if it was kind of like college. You can take early morning classes, or if you’re not a morning person you can try to get classes later in the day, you can even have some evening classes. It could meet all different needs of students and staff.”
Maybe this is something schools should consider, a flexible schedule that allows a people to customize their schedule as it best fits them.