Questions for ‘Starting schools later leads to less tardiness, fewer ‘zombies’’

A boy rests his head on his backpack atop his desk to sleep in class

Falling asleep during class is common for students who don’t get enough sleep.

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To accompany “Starting schools later leads to less tardiness, fewer ‘zombies’


Before Reading:

1.  When does your school day start? When do you have to wake in order to make it to school on time? Did this wake-up time change during any remote-learning periods because of the pandemic?

During Reading:

1.  In terms of this story, what are “zombies”?

2.  How much sleep do pre-teens and teens need? How does that compare to what you are actually getting, on average, each school night?

3.  What makes the new study different from others that have investigated the potential impacts of early school start times?

4.  How much extra sleep did kids get, on average, when their schools started roughly an hour later each day?

5.  What is the earliest start time that Rachel Widome says families should accept before thinking about petitioning their school board to start classes later?

After Reading:

1.  In theory, kids could just go to bed earlier if their schools start especially early. In practice that doesn’t work very well. Do some research on why access to televisions and other screens (on tablets, phones and more) can counteract good intentions to fall asleep earlier. What is the role of blue light? What types of “fixes” or “tools” can people employ to get around the problem? Would this work for you? Explain why or why not.