Thinking Outside the Sand BoxPosted: October 18, 2008
At least the Toronto District School Board will be piloting a ‘late start’ school beginning in September 2009.
Next fall, Eastern Commerce high school students will begin their school day at 10 am – at least an hour later than the standard start time and end at around 4 p.m. “We are being responsive to the best research on how students learn,” according to Trustee Cathy Dandy, who came up with the idea for a late-start school.
This daring move is in tune with the latest research that clearly shows that the teenage brain is wired to stay up late and sleep in. Of course, high school students, their parents and teachers already know this.
For decades the typical school day has revolved around city transit and school bus schedules. This may work for elementary students but most high school administrators and teachers will tell you that, for the most part, their students’ brains do not kick into gear until long after the 8:30 am buzzer has rung.
Kudos for the TDSB for daring to think outside the box by at least trying Dandy’s idea. They seem to get it.
This bold attempt to alter the standard school day is a wonderful reminder that it is the students who should really come first.