Late starts late enough?

The school, like many, has schedules put in place to accommodate professional development, such as the weekly late starts on Mondays. This is a change from two years ago when the late starts occurred every other week on Wednesdays, with these allowing students to start the day at 10 a.m. So, what is the protocol for establishing the meeting times and how do they affect staff and students?

Late starts, or later morning arrivals, do not necessarily apply to everyone in the HC community. Teachers must arrive at 7:30 a.m. use this time to hold meetings and discuss lesson plans.  

The original late start, a 10 a.m start, was switched several years back to a Monday morning late start (with the exception of four day weeks, which result with no late start meeting that week). “There was an issue with shorter classes. There was a big discrepancy with long and short periods,” said Mrs. Janelle Hoeksema, business law teacher.

This imbalance in the amount of time per period left some teachers with classes falling behind, or others getting ahead of the scheduled curriculum. The administration’s solution to these issues, a weekly Monday morning late start, created a more equitable class schedule throughout the day. Some students, especially those who had been here for the Wednesday late starts, liked the old schedule more. 

“The administration made a mistake… it’s more beneficial to get sleep,” said Melanie Mulvihill, senior.

Sleep has been a revolving thought around the idea of late start, some questioning whether late start times should be based off how many hours of sleep students receive.  

“I prefer Wednesday late starts over Monday, they started at 10 instead of 8:50… I liked Wednesday more because I had more time to stay in my bed and sleep,” said Zach Zeidel, senior. 

There is certainly positive things to consider about the late starts however.  “Monday is a good ease into the week,” Hoeksema said.

And for many students, even a few more minutes of sleep are helpful to start the week.

“I am grateful I get to sleep in on late start days,” Zeidel said.

The debate between whether the 10 a.m. late start should return goes on, and students still question the very nature of the Monday late start. New ideas and thoughts of an early dismissal are spreading amongst students, however the idea receives no praise.

“I would worry about issues with after school sports,” Hoeksema said.

Students echoed the same sentiments.

“I would rather have late start than early dismissal,” Zeidel said.