What Earlier Starts to School Days Mean for ISM Students

Written by: Mira

Edited by: Sarah 

Visual by: Ethan

ISM’s transition from online learning to fully in-person learning continues to pick up speed, with juniors and seniors now coming to campus full time and sophomores and freshmen now taking turns to be hybrid. Recently, ISM’s superintendent, Mr Toze, announced school days would begin at 7:30 starting on March 28th. This move was designed to give students more time for after-school activities and to “send a signal to [the] community that school year 2022/2023 will see business as usual on our campus.” This schedule shift will be a huge adjustment for students, as for almost two years, ISM has been following an 8:00am-3:30pm online learning schedule. To gain insight into the opinions of school starting earlier, Bamboo Telegraph reached out to a few students from each grade. 

Besides the fact that earlier school days will allow more time for students to participate in after-school activities, another advantage is, for many, a shorter commute time. Junior Henry states, “leaving for school earlier usually means less traffic, which is certainly nice.” Less traffic will be especially beneficial for students who live far away from the school so they would spend less time sitting in traffic going to and returning from school. An anonymous freshman added, “I get to go home earlier, and it’s going to be less humid and hot in the morning.” Furthermore, earlier school days can provide a sense of normalcy and opportunities to have an earlier, productive start to the day. Sophomore Inez optimistically explains, “I am looking forward to [school starting earlier] if it means we can revert to the normalcy of our pre-pandemic schedule”.  

Despite these advantages, however, earlier school days could be overwhelming to students–especially with regards to sleep schedules. Andy, a sophomore, describes the difficulty behind adjusting to a new schedule. “I’ve personally got so used to the current 8:00-3:30 schedule that I don’t think it’ll be too nice to shift the start time, even if it’s a relatively small margin of 30 minutes.” He also considers that “sleep will be a big issue for a lot of students.” A senior we reached out to shares the same perspective; he “strongly prefers waking up later,” and thus does not view this decision favorably.

Though students indeed have time to change their sleep schedules, the chances of doing so are highly unlikely as the school year continues to get busier with more programs and exam season approaching. Two anonymous freshmen outline the serious consequences of students getting less sleep, explaining “students [will be] more sleep deprived” and “more likely to be tired throughout the day [and] not being able to absorb information.” In the long run, these effects can bring about further negative consequences, including poorer academic performance and feeling anxious and stressed. 

While these student concerns are valid, earlier school days are a positive change as ISM continues to enact pre-pandemic activities and schedules. After learning online for 2 years, there will initially be difficulties adjusting to earlier school days. However, students will have the opportunity to express their concerns with teachers and counselors. Ultimately, earlier school days signal a new beginning for the ISM community as we quickly approach a greater sense of normalcy and a time where students have the opportunity to pursue or be more heavily involved in activities they were not able to participate in before.