The Smoke Signal

Why A Shorter School Day Will Help Students Learn More

Claire DeKruyf, Journalist

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Ripon High’s school day starts at 7:50 and lasts a little over 7 hours. Many students, parents, and staff members believe that the school day is too long and that school hours need to change.

According to The Huffington Post,90% of teens are sleep deprived and the lack of sleep affects their motivation and focus at school. Studies show that getting enough sleep is just as important as eating healthy and exercising. Teachers and school staff need to take into consideration student’s health and consider changing the school’s start time.

An entire class of Taiwanese students sleep during class (Courtesy of Creative Commons)

If school started later, students would be able to get more sleep which would make well rested and more enthusiastic about coming to school. Getting more sleep would make students less likely to act out and more likely to behave in class.

When students are told to sit and be quiet for most of their day, they feel like the school is trying to control them and because of that, students act out. They act out by cutting class or disobeying their teachers. If these students had to sit in their seats for a shorter period of time, those students might act out less.

If there was a later start, homework and test scores might go up. Students would be able to stay up later to study and do their homework. They would also have more time to work if school got out earlier.  

“A shorter day would leave more time for us to enjoy their lives and not have to rush through activities or assignments. We would be able to do everything at a slower and calmer pace rather than rushing,” according to an article published by the Huffington Post

Schools getting out of school earlier would help student’s school work and attitudes. School staffs are always encouraging students to participate in afterschool activities such as sports and clubs , but most kids don’t have time to partake in these activities because of all of the homework that they have. If school’s got out earlier they would have time to partake in all of these clubs and finish all of their homework. Being able to participate in these activities would also boost student’s moods which can make them be more nice to their peers and participate more in class.

Shorter school days would also be beneficial to the teachers and other staff members. Teachers are usually overworked and normally do more than their job description entails. The shorter days will allow teachers to have more free time to be with their families. They would also have more time to grade the overwhelming amount of homework they have to take on every night.

Another solution would be to have a 6 period day. A 6-period schedule is used in many schools and has been proven to work just as efficient, if not more effective, as the 7-period schedule. According to school districts, 6 day periods and block schedules are more effective than traditional scheduling because it offers students more instructional time. With fewer classes and less time during the school day devoted to changing classes, students are supposed to be able to focus and accomplish more. (

Students have to be in school 1080 hours in California for grades 4-12 according to the Education Commissions of the States. A shorter school day could make it hard to meet this requirement to this problem but a solution is to add more school days to the year.

Overall, having shorter days would be better for students and staff. There is no reason that schools cannot change their starting time and the time they let children out. Children would still get the necessary education and their health would greatly improve.

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Why A Shorter School Day Will Help Students Learn More