Aaron Koopal 18 talking to his friends before class starts. Koopal is in Track and still makes time to do other activities and hobbies
Aaron Koopal ’18 talking to his friends before class starts. Koopal is in Track and still makes time to do other activities and hobbies
Evan Newcomb

Too many things, not enough time

Everyday I juggle the commitment of sports and school. It’s hard and creates more stress than I need. Despite that, sports are a part of my life and I would not give them up for the world. I have to stay until evening for practices and even until 9 p.m. or 10 p.m. for meets, already leaving me with hardly any time to finish my other work.

The school district conducted a survey to see if the students and parents wanted to change the start time. According to Superintendent Corey Lunn, results of the survey were inconclusive and the change won’t happen next year.

The late start the district is discussing would hurt the already few hours I get to work. I don’t want it to happen but we need to have a solution for students like myself that do not have a lot of time to do other things, such as homework. If the change happens, I will have to quit something I love to prioritize school, which could have many poor effects on both my physical and mental health.

Students involved in after-school activities would get home even later in the evening than usual. “The students don’t get done with rehearsals and practice until 6:30,” english teacher Jeremy Fitzpatrick said. He also coaches Speech and Debate and is in charge of the school’s fall play and spring musical. “They still have to go home, eat, and do all the other things they do at night. There is just less time to do it.”

According to Sports Digest, athletes tend to suffer from stress more than non-athletes due to the amount they are required to balance. “The purpose of the late start is to give students more sleep,” Fitzpatrick said. “If you push everything back then you are not adjusting schedules much.”

Student athletes will miss more school with a late start, considering the times for meets and games won’t change. “You have students getting out of school earlier than they would if there wasn’t a late start,” Activities Director Gary Ross said. “However (with late start), events get done at the same time so the students get an extra hour of sleep.”

Despite that, if students are dismissed early to travel to meets, they are still responsible for making up the school they missed, essentially taking away any “extra” time allotted.

Ross also believes there are quite a few negatives to a late start, like outdoor practices would end at a darker time of the night and cause conflict with other priorities, like church on Wednesdays. He believes morning practices could help that issue.

Aaron Koopal ‘18 is busy as it is, and doesn’t see the late start being beneficial in any regard. One idea Koopal had was for athletes to have their P.E/Study Hall classes eighth period, and use that time to go straight to practices for sports. With some adjustments, this idea doesn’t seem half bad but would be hard to implement.

The school would have to find every student in an activity and modify their schedule, which could be a logistical nightmare, or a poor excuse for students to get out of class.

Maybe with time, a more clear solution will present itself. Koopal has continued talking to others about his idea, and Ross thinks that a late start does more harm than good. “My preference, personally, from an activities standpoint, is that we keep it as it is,” Ross said.

The results for the survey were inconclusive so the idea should be shut down. Results don’t warrant a change now, so they are not going to change in the next few years when most of the students and parents in the district are the same.  Changing start times now would only have an adverse effect for many students.

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