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Pros and Cons of the Schedule Change


Recently, Putnam City Schools have been considering a change in the scheduling system. More specifically, a change in time. Though met with divided support and backlash, the decision is still up for parent’s opinions, and before those polls close, I’d like to set out some pros and cons for this schedule change.

In terms of specifics, our classes currently begin at 8am. On late start Wednesdays, class begins at 8:45AM. This schedule change that’s being debated right now consists of 8:45 AM normal days, and 9:30 AM late start days. A huge change, considering that the ending time would change too. Currently, we end at 3:10PM. If the schedule is changed to be later, then our classes would end at 3:55PM.

Why is a change like this sought for anyways? It actually has to do with a lot of developmental factors. Perhaps you’ve noticed this, but attendance rates are decreasing fast. According to an analysis of federal data conducted by Harvard University, two out of three students enrolled in school are considered chronically absent. It’s an even bigger problem in the Putnam City district as each day the attendance of students seems everlastingly smaller than the last.

There are a few ways to combat these new chronic absences, the American Psychological Associationclaims that delaying start times may be one of those methods. Additionally, delayed start time for high schoolers specifically results in lower obesity rates, fewer driving accidents, lower rates of depression, and improved quality of life as described by the the American Academy of Pediatrics. Teenagers naturally wake up much later than elementary or middle school children, and it should be considered that many of these high school teens drive their own car. Inconveniences are everywhere, but these are times where safety must come before an inconvenient time.

Not all outcomes of this time change would be beneficial though. Many jobs begin from anywhere between 7AM to 8AM, which is around when school starts. Families that need to are able to drop students off and make it to their workplace at decent times, which would drastically change if start times were delayed. More teenagers would be walking to school, or begin taking the bus. Absence rates in the underclassmen may even increase if they live far enough and have no consistent method of transportation to school.

With school ending later, club and activity times will stretch out farther into the day. Kids will get home later and will have a lack of sunlight to get things done or relax adequately, or even spend proper time with family and friends.

Each outcome spirals to next; each pro has a countering con and each con has a countering pro. That’s why it’s important to know both sides. It’s impossible to avoid

inconveniences, so I ask you to be open minded and think of all the things that went into this decision before casting your vote.

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About the Contributor
Samia Shara
Samia Shara, Co-Editor
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