Students who start school later in the morning perform better academically, an experiment at a Toronto high school suggests. In fall 2009, Eastern Commerce Collegiate Institute began starting the school day an hour later at 10 am, and although a complete review has yet to be released, teachers are noticing a difference.
Wayne Erdman, a veteran teacher of 27 years, now retired, told the Toronto Star that the change was like “night and day,” noting that students “weren’t falling asleep in class as much.” The school has also noted that before the change 45 per cent of students failed grade 11 math. After the start time was pushed back to 10am, the failure rate plummeted to 17 per cent.
The experiment was partially in response to a 2008 study from the Canadian Pediatric Society that concluded that few teenagers were getting the nine to 10 hours of sleep per night they required. “The point is this is a health issue and we want them to be more productive,” principal Sam Miceli said.