Starting in the fall school year of 2022 – 2023, The School District Of Philadelphia has voted to shift the starting time of high schools to 9:00 a.m., and an end time at 4pm.
In making this announcement , The District cited research conducted The American Academy of Pediatrics in the spring of 2021, who states “ by starting high schools at a later start time it’ll enable them to be more alert, and ready to learn, especially since the majority of our high school students are responsible for making their own ways to and from school.”
I personally do not have a concern with the later starting time — but I believe the later end time will result in a lot of parents questioning their kids’ safety, es especially during the winter months
When it gets colder and the nights come quicker, the loss of daylight means that students are at risk of… This gets even worse during daylight savings time when the clock goes back one hour and light is still out.
Also important is that many schools will end after 4PM. For example, with SLA we personally get out at 3:45 on advisory days ( Mondays, and Thursdays) , but if the time limit gets pushed back, and school hours get adjusted, we´ll then be released at 4:30. ,
In addition to traveling in the dark, the changed start and end times will lead to a longer commute. For some students they get home quicker than others whether they’re being picked up, or dropped off, or own a car. But, for others it takes them a little longer for their commute of an hour or more just to get to school alone, so they would arrive home until close to quarter to 7 or around 7 pm, especially when rush hour is happening.
Personally, it takes me an hour, and 30 minutes on a one way trip going home during rush hour, which means I won’t be home before 6PM on advisory days.
Speaking for myself, I wish that the District wouldn’t push back school hours for the safety of the students and faculty.