There is nothing better than being able to sleep in. That feeling of waking up and being genuinely well-rested and ready to start the day is usually reserved for the weekends alone. With all of the homework, sports and people that take up our time, sleep becomes less of a priority for many high schoolers. I, for one, am always waking up tired, and 90 minute periods of sitting still in classes do not help. I sometimes find myself drifting off in class or struggling to pay attention. And I know I am not the only one.
Glenbrook South sophomore Khushi Patel agreed. She explained how she is often unmotivated to get ready for school due to a lack of sleep.
¨It’s so hard for me to drag myself out of bed in the morning and into an eight hour day of school” Patel said. “I just want to go home and sleep.”
One solution that has allowed students to catch up on sleep is late arrivals. In past years, South has had an average of four per semester, according to Principal Dr. Lauren Fagel, and these last few months we have been lucky to get a late arrival almost once a week. This increase in late arrivals has allowed students to get the proper amount of sleep and time to finish their work. Sometimes it can feel like the week drags on, and it is nice to be able to get a little break from the constant activity. Having a weekly late arrival could give students a chance to re-energize themselves so that the five day school week does not seem quite as strenuous. Especially students with a lot on their plates, such as athletes. Bella Gemignani, a sophomore on the junior varsity soccer team, thinks that weekly late arrivals would be very helpful in student growth.
¨It would be beneficial, because athletes have practices late at night, and by the time they get home they still have to finish all their homework. ̈ Gemignani said. ̈Having extra time in the morning permits us to not only have a reasonable amount of time to sleep but also gives us the time to finish all our work.”
Late arrivals do not just benefit students. The purpose of late arrivals is mostly for teachers, by giving them time to collaborate with other staff from their department, according to Principal Dr. Lauren Fagel.
̈ Late arrival days serve as Professional Learning Mornings (PLM) for GBS staff.” Fagel said. During a PLM, teachers meet with their colleagues, with their departments, or sometimes as an entire staff. During this time, we are working on improving our curriculum, instruction, and assessment practices. Most PLMs are used for learning together and working together to improve our daily practice.¨
By having a weekly late arrival, teachers would have more time to collaborate with their colleagues, which would in turn greater benefit the students.
While talk of more late arrivals sounded very appealing to me, I also had to take into consideration the consequences of more late arrivals. Would we have to give up some of the days off that we usually have? However, in an article written last February by Oracle staff reporter Isabella Albrecht, Dr. Fagel discussed how it could be possible to have a weekly late arrival.
“The state of Illinois requires students to be in school 300 minutes a day, and that has to be instructional time, not passing periods and not lunch,” Fagel said. “We are at 360 minutes. Those extra minutes beyond 300, you bank those. It’s like depositing them into the bank and then you can withdraw from the bank for late arrivals. So we could, potentially, have a late arrival every week.”
While it is not likely that late arrivals will become a regular thing in the very near future, I believe it should be discussed. Those few extra hours a week really do give students time to take a breather and refuel for the rest of the week. With all the stress in our lives, I am sure many students would welcome the chance to sleep in on a school day.