Your Opinions

November 20, 2005

Cost, not just sleep, at issue in change

I think it is a bad idea for Harford County high schools to start and end school 15 minutes early. I feel this way, not only because I know that many students, including myself, would not want to get up earlier than necessary for school, but also because of the cost of this change. It would cost $400,000 just to begin and end school 15 minutes earlier.

Perhaps an alternative would be for middle school to start and end 15 minutes later?

Sara Clendenin Havre de Grace

Earlier start times could hurt grades

I think there should not be a change in the pickup and drop-off time for many reasons. High school students already have to get up early enough just to catch the bus for school; this new plan would make them get up even earlier. That then might have repercussions on their grades because they might not get enough sleep.

I also think the money could be put to a better use, for example in modernizing schools. I believe that it would actually be better for the middle school kids to have some additional time to talk to teachers. I do not think it would help the system at all.

Matt Kahl Bel Air

Change would boost magnet athletics

Starting the high school day 15 minutes earlier would have a lot of benefits. First, a benefit for a magnet school, such as Harford Tech, is that ending the day 15 minutes earlier would allow fall sports to practice the full allotted time. When clocks get turned back an hour and the sun sets earlier, fall sports at Tech are hindered because the school doesn't have lights and students can't practice in the dark.

Also, a benefit would be that if students got out earlier, they could go to work earlier, get out of work earlier and have time to do homework instead of staying up all night. Although it would involve getting up earlier, it would be worth it.

Joel Carr Bel Air

Students tired with school, sports

I believe that the proposal is not a good idea. As a high school student, I already have to wake up at 5:45 a.m., which used to be 5 a.m. before I started driving.

Constantly in school I hear teachers telling their students to wake up, asking why we're so tired. Obviously, it's because we are getting up extremely early five days a week and have to sit in a classroom for 6 1/2 hours - and some even have to spend more time there.

During the cheerleading and lacrosse season, I sit through school and then am expected to go through a hard workout. I spend more than 10 hours at school during two seasons, and then have to go home and do more school work, as if 6 1/2 hours of it isn't enough already.

It seems as though every time something goes wrong or doesn't work out with school situations, officials always try to adjust the problem with the high schools. Instead of spending $400,000 on changing a simple schedule by 15 minutes, maybe they could use that money for more buses, or start middle school later or start us later and pick up the middle school students with the high school students.

I don't think you should change the high school schedule because it's already early enough and I honestly don't think I can stand to wake up any earlier. I think all the other students will agree with me.

Renee Dreyer

The writer is a student at Harford Tech.

Seek alternatives to sleep deprivation

Sleep is something many high school students don't get enough of. Starting school 15 minutes early is a long time in the eyes of a tired student.

Waking up is a challenge now; hitting the snooze button is something we all do. "Just five more minutes, Mom," comes out of the mouths of most students in the morning.

After a long day at work or practice, all that is on a teenager's mind is sleep, not doing homework or chores. Homework is usually done in homeroom or at lunch because working students don't have time to do it at home. After getting off work at 10 o'clock, driving home and showering, your eyes can't stay open long enough to even look at your books. No one wants to stay up reading for English or working out long math problems.

Elementary schools should start later. This would give parents time to get home before their children. That way, a babysitter would not be needed. The children would still have plenty of time to do homework and sports because they don't have jobs or cars, so they can't go anywhere. It would not affect them as much as it would high school students.

The money that we would spend for 15 minutes would not be worth it. Four-hundred thousand dollars is a lot of money that could be spent on something more then a few extra minutes. Harford County Public Schools don't have enough money to keep soap in the bathrooms and good food at lunch. Why would they pay that much for 15 minutes? Use the money to build a stadium for Harford Tech and finish North Harford High School.

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