Could There Be Positive Parts of the Pandemic?

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Jackson Murray, Reporter

Here at Woodland Park, with this pandemic came a lot of changes to the usual schedule that most students are used to. Is it possible that some of these changes are for the better and should be kept even after the vaccine and cure for Covid-19 are found?

In the years before 2020, WPHS has started school for students at around a quarter before 8:00 AM. This early start time required students to be out of bed anywhere from 6:00 AM to 7:00 AM. This was depending on if the student was driven, lived close enough to walk, or rode the bus to school. In the article “Sleep in Teens”, the writer reveals how students need at least nine hours of sleep every night, but will usually fall asleep around ten or eleven at night after puberty hits. If students are to fall asleep at 11:00 PM and wake up at 6:00 AM, that would only allow them seven hours of sleep, which is two hours under the minimum recommended time of nine hours of sleep.

Now in 2020, school starts at 9:00 AM, giving all students another hour or so of sleep. In another article, “Teens and Sleep” by Eric Suni, the writer details the benefits of teens sleeping enough each night. These benefits include heightened attention span, better reaction time, more willingness to learn and retain information, better mental health, and a plethora of other essential benefits. Seeing from this standpoint, the extra hour of sleep allowed by the pandemic-adapted schedule is obviously good. 

The starting time change in the schedule is not all good, however, as the end of the day has also been shortened by an hour, with school ending at 2:00 PM instead of 3:00. This means less time for school work. Coupling this with attempting to complete an entire semesters’ worth of work in a quarter of the year has almost canceled out the heightened abilities of students due to the extra hour of sleep.

What does this mean? Is there something that could be salvaged from this years’ schedule that could benefit the students as well as the school? There is one compromise that would allow that to happen. If the school were to keep the start time of 9:00 AM, while also pushing the end time to 4:00 PM, students would possibly have enough time to alternate between four of their eight classes each day, while also getting enough sleep to prevent sleep deprivation. If this change were to happen, however, students may have less time for extracurricular activities or even to relieve stress at home. Above all else, this pandemic may mostly be a hindrance to students, but the extra time for them to sleep before traveling to school could be proving beneficial.

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