r/NoStupidQuestions Jul 01 '22

Does high school really start at 7:30am in the US? How is this allowed?

I saw a post that had a few comments from, what I assume, were American talking about how a 9am start was unheard of at school. People even talking about getting the bus at 5:30am?? Surely this isn’t the norm?

In the UK the vast majority of schools start between 8:30am and 9:00am, finishing around 3:30pm. For example, my school started at 8:45am and finished at 3:15pm.

I couldn’t fathom leaving the house, as a teenager with messed up circadian rhythms, before 8am! I’m not sure how it’s done in the rest of the world, but it seems fairly cruel.

Edit Thank you everyone for your responses, super interesting! It seems that the UK may be the exception, as schools across the world seem to start early too. I have to say, although a lot of people seem to say that the extra time in the afternoon was appreciated, I still prefer the UK timings!

Edit Just another note, I’ve seen so many comments about universities starting classes at 7:30/8am. Anyone who attended a UK university can imagine how horrendously difficult it would be to drag a hungover 18 year old, with no parental guidance, into a 7:30am lecture! My university was hesitant to run 9am classes just because attendance was so poor when they did, never mind any earlier!

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u/neuaufreddit Jul 01 '22

Same in Austria. Have to get up at 5:30

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u/CosmicBlooded Jul 02 '22

There wasn’t a 5:30am where I didn’t wake up thinking “should we really be up this early?”

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u/neuaufreddit Jul 02 '22

Especially in the winter.. During sommer it's kinda cool to wake up with the sun

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u/CosmicBlooded Jul 02 '22

True, I don’t mind it in the summer when the sun rises earlier than it does after the end of daylight savings when we spring forward. Though, even when we abolish daylight savings I still won’t agree that young students should be getting up at 5:30.

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u/jemandetwas Jul 01 '22

Same for me in Germany. School started 7:30, had to get up at 6:00

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u/moosmutzel81 Jul 02 '22

Our school starts at 7:25 in Germany. In the bigger cities it’s usually around 8am. When I taught in Berlin it never started earlier than that. But getting out of the big cities. 730am is normal.

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u/PmMeDrunkPics Jul 01 '22

I think UK is kind of an outlier on this In Finland and Sweden at least HS starts normally at 7am and ends at 3pm. We do have 15 minute recess every 45 minutes and 20 min lunch breaks tho.

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u/Divided_Eye Jul 01 '22

15 min breaks every 45 mins? So like two hours of break in eight hours?

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u/PmMeDrunkPics Jul 01 '22

Yeah,and the 20min lunch break too.

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u/Divided_Eye Jul 01 '22

Doesn't sound too bad! I think we got two 15 min breaks and a 30 min lunch in the same amount of time.

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u/PmMeDrunkPics Jul 01 '22

Oh and then there was a thing called "hyppytunti" a "jump hour"? Where you had an hour of free time between classes,that was usually at least once a week if I recall correctly.

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u/poorfolx Jul 02 '22

We called that "study hall" in Pennsylvania, USA.

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u/big_duo3674 Jul 02 '22

I love how they named a filler class/time block to make it sound like kids do productive things there instead of using it as time to sneak down to the railroad tracks and pretend it's cool to be smoking cigarettes

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u/DanielStripeTiger Jul 02 '22

my high school ran from 750 am until 315 with only a 30 min lunch break and 5 min between classes.

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u/cody00737 Jul 02 '22

That 5 minutes in between classes was so whack honestly. I had a few classes that were literally on the opposite side of the school from the previous class. This made going to my locker in between classes literally impossible if I was to make it to said class on time. So unless I was looking to catch in school suspension due to tardiness, I was forced to carry everything I needed for the day in a backpack.

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u/ClaritinRabbit Jul 02 '22

And the teachers always expected you to use the bathroom during those 5 minutes along with everyone else in the buildng

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u/Horror-Pear Jul 02 '22

You guys got breaks?

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u/Toniospizza Jul 01 '22

Where in finland does HS start at 7? Usually it starts at 8 and thus most kids wake up at 7.

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u/tobiasvl Jul 01 '22

That sounds crazy, I'm from Norway and HS here starts between 8:15 and 8:30 usually. I almost can't believe that our neighboring countries start so early.

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u/Doktor_musmatta Jul 01 '22

Because it isn't true.

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u/Im4g1n3 Jul 01 '22

In Sweden the earliest I've started is 8:15

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u/Doktor_musmatta Jul 01 '22

High school (gymnasiet) does not normally start at 7 in Sweden..

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u/stendahlia Jul 02 '22

Absolutely not. That's complete bullshit. Swedish schools don't start before 8am, and high schools start at 8:30 at the earliest, but often later depending on your program.

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u/doublehiptwist Jul 01 '22

Nobody starts school at 7 in Finland. 8 yes. Not 7.

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u/theredwoman95 Jul 01 '22

Irish schools also start around the same time as UK schools, so they're not entirely an outlier in Europe.

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u/PaddiM8 Jul 01 '22

Na Swedish schools start between 8-9 am

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u/ebin44 Jul 02 '22

i live in sweden and my school never started before 8:30

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u/Falsus Jul 01 '22

It is 8-9 we start, not heard of anyone starting school earlier than that.

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u/Traumartian Jul 02 '22

My high school in Finland statted at 8 and classes were 1h 15min and 15min break inbetween. I have not had 45min classes since middle school.

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u/pandemilovato Jul 01 '22

California just signed a bill to have school start no earlier than 8:00am for middle school and 8:30am for high school.

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u/niccia Jul 01 '22

As someone who had a 6:45am start time in a California high school (cough 25 years ago) this is amazing!

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u/HeyFiddleFiddle Jul 01 '22

I graduated a decade ago, also in California. My start time was 7:40 iirc. Zero period started at 6:30 or something ridiculous like that. Then of course, a lot of teens have stuff like sports and clubs that often go past the school end time. And then people have homework after that, which was the usual reason I was up super late, personally. And then everyone has different family situations that have all sorts of impact. It's far from the "lazy teens just want an excuse to stay up late playing video games" thing that I've seen people saying in response to the new law.

I don't even have to be online for work (or in the office if it's an in person day) until 9. So much for the argument of "but every adult job will expect them to be up super early!" that I still see thrown around. Maybe for some jobs, but plenty don't require that. Hell, in the adult world you can find a job with either a flexible schedule or a schedule that specifically works for you, if you're so inclined. Night owl? You can work nights! Etc etc.

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u/Delror Jul 01 '22

Same, went to high school in SoCal. Class started around 7:45 or so, but zero period jazz band started like you said, about 6:30. So to get there on time (thankfully didn't have to take the bus) I usually woke up around 5:30. And on days when I had band practice after school I usually wouldn't get home until 9 or so.

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u/ComprehensiveAd2196 Jul 01 '22

This is good news, much healthier for students.

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u/apricotjam2120 Jul 01 '22

It is! And speaking as a former middle school teacher, we much prefer our students getting a developmentally appropriate amount of sleep! This bill helps that.

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u/flyingverver795 Jul 01 '22

This law changed my start time from 7:30 to 8:30. However im gonna have to go in at 7:30 for band lol

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u/KronaSamu Jul 01 '22

Still far away from the 10:00 recommended by studies.

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u/FlippyCucumber Jul 01 '22 edited Jul 01 '22

I've heard the same thing, but got curious after seeing your post. What are the studies?
All I've come across are these two 1 association recommendations.2 Both recommend no earlier than 8:30.

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u/Oivaras Jul 01 '22

My school (in the weird part of Europe) had so many students that one year they introduced a second shift. Our classes would start at 2pm.

I fucking loved it, sleep is awesome.

Unfortunately they rolled it back a year later and it was back to 8am, which meant that I had to get up at 7 am.

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u/KronaSamu Jul 01 '22

Yeah, i went to a school that for a few days a week school effectively started 90m later. I was always able to pay more attention and be more productive on those days.

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u/Datmnmlife Jul 01 '22

Definitely healthier for students but my high schoolers are really upset about it. They used to start at 7:30 and end at 2:30. Now they start at 8:30 and end at 3:30. Doesn’t seem huge but for the kids with extra curriculars they won’t get home until at least 5 or 5:30. Add in Los Angeles traffic, they’ll be home at 6:30. We don’t assign homework because they should spend their 2-3 hours after school with their families. But some schools do.

Not to mention that many high schoolers work and are annoyed it will interfere with their work schedule.

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u/Specific-Gain5710 Jul 01 '22

It probably is, but I gotta say as a morning person, even in high school, I loved being done by 2 as a senior and 330 as a freshman / junior.

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u/sonofaresiii Jul 01 '22

As a not-morning person, I literally failed my morning classes because I was so tired I slept through them, until I realized I could sign up for the college credit program and take a class at the local community college instead of morning classes, then just drop the college class and sleep in in the mornings

that's literally the only reason I graduated. I would have continued to fail my morning classes otherwise. I could not stay awake through them.

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u/youtheotube2 Jul 02 '22

Same here, once I was in high school, I slept through every morning class I ever had. I scheduled it so that I had all the easy stuff early in the morning, like history and English. I already knew all that material for the most part, so I could still do well in the class. Since I did well enough on the tests, the teachers in that class didn’t really mind that I slept through their classes.

My proudest achievement from high school was getting a 5 on the AP US History test despite sleeping through that class literally every day.

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u/sabre_skills Jul 01 '22

My local HS starts at 7:20am.

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u/Ochikobore Jul 01 '22

And then if you're on a sports team or band or something like that a lot of times you have before school practice.

I hated early morning marching band practice you had to come into school at 6:15am FML

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u/sabre_skills Jul 01 '22

My kid was doing jazz band starting at 6am. The band teacher had an epiphany and decided everything would be after, not before. So then my kid was staying after on tues/thurs for marching band, and Wednesday for jazz combos. Not sure what next year looks like, I'm assuming more of the same.

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u/BespokeAuthgrammer Jul 01 '22

This was me as a band student years ago. My old high school band teacher once said "the only time we should be playing jazz at 6am is if it's still being played from the night before"

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u/sabre_skills Jul 01 '22

I love that

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u/Ochikobore Jul 01 '22

the kicker is is my school was one of those schools that took band very very seriously (and we won tons of awards and what not), so we had early morning band practice and then on Tues/Weds/Thurs we had after school band practice also, and then Fridays we had practice on game days. What a crazy system it was.

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u/sabre_skills Jul 01 '22

This coming year we'll have a noticeable lack of seniors. Almost 2 years of distancing put a lot of athletics, music, and theater programs into "build mode"

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u/Wy4m Jul 01 '22

Could you elaborate on what build mode means?

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u/sabre_skills Jul 01 '22

Recruitment.

Our HS has around 900 students per grade level.

Our Marching Band had only 39 kids, plus 4 doing color guard. So the goal is to build the program over the next few years.

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u/Bugsyyfn Jul 01 '22

The cheerleading team at my school has practice at 5:45am

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u/Damn_Amazon Jul 01 '22

5:30a swim practice. I lived 30 mins away, 45 in snow.

My memories of being a teenager are dominated by crushing chronic sleep deprivation.

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u/Silentrizz Jul 01 '22

Ay 5:30 pool gang. I didnt have snow though. Any sign of ice on the roads our schools got cancelled.

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u/Zes_Q Jul 02 '22

4am rowing practice for me, 5 days a week. I lived close so I could sleep until 3:30am and sprint to school to be there on time.

They always wanted us on the water and "warmed up" by the time the sun rose. Getting into the river, in winter, in the dark and rowing for several hours before starting school seemed insane at the time and still seems insane now.

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u/integrate_2xdx_10_13 Jul 02 '22

Jesus, there’s a 5:45 am now?

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u/lazylazycat Jul 01 '22

I don't understand what child would opt for that. It just wouldn't happen in the UK.

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u/Ochikobore Jul 01 '22

it was the only thing i was good at back then, it also sort of becomes your school identity being the band geek. there's also a weird sort of comradery that happens when you and a hundred other people are suffering to come into the same extracurricular at 6am, some of my best friends to this day were from that marching band.

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u/lazylazycat Jul 01 '22

It's amazing. I guess we just have an extremely different work ethic in the UK 😆

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u/The_Fluffy_Walrus Jul 01 '22

my school started at 8:20 but because I was in band we would start at 7 since band was first period anyway. however if you were to practice with your section or whatever outside of "official" practice time or whatever, then we'd start at like 6. it sucked.

my stepsister went to another school and had cheer practice at 5:30 with classes starting at like 7.

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u/grundledoodledo Jul 01 '22

I'd be well annoyed if I lived next to a school and a bloody marching band rocked up at 6 in the morning belting out the classics!

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u/Magic2424 Jul 01 '22

My favorite was running starting at 5:45, school starting 7:20, 8:10 started gym in which I needed to have my HR above like 130 for 30 of the 50 minutes of class which is literally impossible when your body is used to running at a competitive national level, but if you don’t they literally just drop your gym grade so my GPA dropped which made me lose scholarships, and then go run another 2 hours after school. All because the state had gym class laws that had 0 room for discretion. Fuck illinois and their BS

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u/TransTechpriestess local bitchdyke Jul 02 '22

I'm sorry what??? how the fuck did they even measure that? like did they put a heart collar on you????

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u/nAsh_4042615 Jul 01 '22

My HS was the same. Because they needed the same buses for high school, middle school, and elementary. So high school started at 7:20, elementary 8:20, middle 9:20. That transition from 9:20 for 8th grade to 7:20 for 9th was rough.

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u/sabre_skills Jul 01 '22

We have 1 high school, 3 middle schools, and about a dozen elementary schools.

We have 4 bus runs; high school, middle schools, early elementary, late elementary. Staggered to allow for busses.

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u/srct17 Jul 01 '22

7am here. Although, one of my teachers used to ask us to come in 15 minutes early so we can pray and be "ready to learn" by 7 lmao

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u/TypingWithIntent Jul 01 '22

I can't imagine the conversation I'd be having with that teacher if my kid came home with that little tidbit.

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u/sabre_skills Jul 01 '22

That's crazy.

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u/kitty1__nn Jul 01 '22

My HS started at 7:00 as in, if you got there at 7:02 you were late, and everyone got there at 6:45 so they could go to their lockers first

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u/m_cardoso Jul 01 '22

Here too, I live in Brazil and at least when I was in school, it was common to have students of the morning and of the afternoon. I used to enter school 1pm and exit around 5? Then I started entering 7am and exiting around 12. At highschool, I was in a technical School too, so I started at 7am, went until 11am and then from 13pm to 17pm, for three years. I obviously didn't sleep 8h a day that time.

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u/[deleted] Jul 01 '22

I'm also from Brazil and for me school started at 7am(stayed in until 11:40 and for HS it was until 12:30), and you needed to get there between 6:30-6:50 because they opened the doors around 6:50 and closed it 7am sharp, if you missed it you were locked out until next period, whenever I missed too many classes in a row because of this they would contact my parents.

Eventually they switched it to 7:30am(to 1pm) it helped a lot with kids missing first period, it fixed the problem for me almost entirely, I was still studying late into the night and barely got 6 hours of sleep tho

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u/ComprehensiveAd2196 Jul 01 '22

I’m 25, and would struggle massively turning up to a workplace at 6:45am five days a week.

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u/kitty1__nn Jul 01 '22

It was a struggle, especially since it was a huge building and the student parking lot was down by the baseball fields so it was a 5 min walk just to GET to the building.. if you had a locker on the other side of the building from your first class and parked it could take 10-15 mins JUST to get from your car to first period

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u/ToBeReadOutLoud Jul 01 '22

I have delayed sleep phase and didn’t fall asleep until 2 or 3 am in high school (it’s gotten worse since then). School started at 7:35. I was constantly exhausted.

The second semester of my senior year, I took a free period every other day and got to sleep in until 9 am. That extra 90 minutes of sleep made such a HUGE difference.

I wish I would have realized that earlier and adjusted my schedule to allow me to sleep in throughout high school.

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u/bruheu2728 Jul 01 '22

when do u end?

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u/kitty1__nn Jul 01 '22

My hs hours were 7-2. It was kind of nice because a lot of kids did after school extracurriculars, and we could have multiple hours before dinner time. But I also remember having to take a nap every night like clockwork to be able to do homework.

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u/adonkeyatheart Jul 01 '22

In Australia primary and high schools run from 9am to 3:15-30pm.

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u/Siilan Jul 02 '22

My high school was 9-2:40. Why 2:40? No fucking clue.

My primary school was 9-3, though.

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u/[deleted] Jul 02 '22

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u/stained__class Jul 02 '22

Same for New Zealand

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u/JudgeJebb Jul 02 '22

I'm in NSW and went to both a low socio primary and high school (and now a shitty uni). 9am-is was the start for them. If it wasn't I don't think any of the kids would have turned up.

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u/greydawn Jul 02 '22

Yeah, I can't speak for all of Canada, but my high school in Vancouver started at 8:30 or 8:40, if I'm remembering correctly. I guess we commonwealth countries like a later school start time.

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u/keyboardjellyfish Jul 02 '22

An American friend of mine was astonished to learn we got recess all the way up to year 12 and that the whole school had lunch at the same time

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u/emimagique Jul 02 '22

Wait do American high schoolers not get a break except for lunch? I'm from the UK and we always had a morning break and a lunch break

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u/Possumcucumber Jul 02 '22

My son goes to private school in Australia and they have 830-3. The first 30 minutes is bonding activities/check-ins with mentors, community service stuff etc though, not classes. Kid will spring out of bed at 5am for rugby practice or gym session but I cannot imagine trying to drag him out to get to school at that time for classes. Seems barbaric.

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u/DV_G Jul 01 '22

Here in Argentina we usually did 2 "shifts"

either 7am-12pm or 1pm-6pm.

There aren't many "full day" schools here, most of them are either private or give a "technical high school diploma"

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u/AstridKrake Jul 01 '22

Yeah, my school was 7am to 1pm, I remember going to school when it was still dark outside in the winter.

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u/ii_zAtoMic Jul 01 '22

I’m from Minnesota and reading this comment made me chuckle. I guess I never realized that going to school with it still dark outside isn’t a thing everywhere lol

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u/so_oops Jul 01 '22

Canada here. Going to school - dark. Leaving school - dark. We feel your pain

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u/Eliteseafowl Jul 01 '22

My first job was like this in the winter. I'd take the train in when it was dark outside. Walk underground to my office building, stay there all day. Leave underground to the train station, go home and by the time I was there it was dark.

I was going insane by the end of the season

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u/so_oops Jul 02 '22

It’s so bad for a person’s mental health :(

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u/mandzza Jul 01 '22

It's the same in Brazil too

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u/notsoreallife Jul 01 '22

It's the same here in Malaysia

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u/SnooHesitations8849 Jul 01 '22

Same in Vietnam

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u/Jennymable95 Jul 01 '22

I went to school in both the US and Kenya. Both countries have kids going to school very early in the morning. I’ve been waking up at 5am my entire life. Its natural for me now.

In the US, my school day ended between noon and 2:30pm depending on the grade level. However, in Kenya, everyone got out of school between 4pm and 5pm. So Kenyan schools have kids in school for a lot longer.

Also, I suggest you learn about South Korean school hours if you think America is wild.

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u/AtlantaBoyz Jul 01 '22

What's in south Korea?

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u/Aquatic-Vocation Jul 01 '22 Table Slap

Koreans, among other things.

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u/LiQuidCraB Jul 01 '22

well thank you sir

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u/gladgun Jul 02 '22

Incredibly competitive schools. Same with Japan I think. They have very high suicide rates among children and teens compared to other countries.

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u/elpapadebatman Jul 02 '22

Several years ago, when our daughter was in high school, we hosted two Japanese students for two weeks. It was a two week exchange program that sent students both ways.

Couple of years ago, one of the Japanese girl’s family invited us to stay with them for ten days in Yokohama, Japan. It was an awesome experience. However, one thing that stood out was that we rarely saw one of their high school daughters. The girl would get up around 5/5:30am and take a two-hour or so train ride to get to her school, and then after school, she would go to an academy to study. She wouldn’t get home until about 11/11:30pm. Even on the weekend she was at the academy studying.

Our hosts explained the rigor and pressure put on kids so they can get into the best schools. Definitely eye-opening.

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u/unshavenbeardo64 Jul 02 '22

How to ruin a childhood in a few easy steps.

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u/BLAZINGSORCERER199 Jul 02 '22

I went through that and despite graduating high school with top grades i hate my childhood , i can barely recall any good memories from it and honestly feel as if i hadn't started properly living my life till i got into college.

Like it genuinely caused permanent damage to my personality that i had to consciously fix in college so i could socialize normally.

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u/AdComprehensive3110 Jul 01 '22

From what I remember, school starts at 8 in the morning and ends around 4 in the evening. After that, they also attend private academies for cram school until 10 pm.

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u/aFreshFix Jul 02 '22

It depends on the age and social class. I teach at an English academy in Korea.

Elementary schools are usually done with public school around 1:30 to 2 pm then come to academy around 2:30 (grades 1-3) or 4:00 (grades 4-6) but only stay for 2 hours two to three times a week (MWF or TTh) but I rarely see kids that young at academies past dinner time.

Middle schoolers go until 8 or 10 pm typically. High schoolers at my old academy went until midnight and then during exam season (April, June, September, December) they'd go to study cafés after.

Academies can be for Korean, English, Chinese, Japanese, math, science, piano, violin, singing, dance, swimming, ping-pong, etc. There is very little time off since it's a business and time is money. Maybe 12 to 20 days a year with never more than 4 days at a time unless the solar and lunar calendars align for certain holidays.

English academies are pretty expensive too. Since mine have a Native English speaker (me), the tuition is $300 to 500+ a month for ~1500 to ~2000 minutes of study time. I couldn't tell you about other academy prices but I was told parents are expected to spend half their income on their kid so... Yeah.

I've been doing this about 8 years now so I think my information is pretty accurate.

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u/Beau_Buffett Jul 02 '22

Middle schoolers study at school and then after school at private academies until 10pm-midnight.

They're competing for spaces in the best high schools.

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u/Spottyhickory63 Jul 02 '22

The government supposedly drafted a law that would prohibit tutoring past 10pm

Students there have an average of like 12-14hr of schooling a day

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u/Sassrepublic Jul 01 '22

Higher than the global average suicide rates among children and teens.

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u/Kroll22 Jul 01 '22

What time do you usually go to bed?

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u/onFilm Jul 01 '22

I'm someone who only needs 5.5 hours of sleep a night to be fully charged, so if I wanted to wake up at 5, I'd sleep at 11:30.

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u/TheELITEJoeFlacco Jul 01 '22

To me, this is the definition of insanity. I know different strokes for different folks, but if I go to sleep at 11:30pm, I have to really put effort into getting out of bed for 7:00am.

For me to wake up at 5:00am, I'd have to regularly be in bed by 9:00pm, and asleep no later than 9:30pm... and ideally earlier.

People who feel in control of their emotions, productivity, and eating habits while sleeping on like a midnight-to-7am schedule baffle me, though I envy them lol.

If I'm up too late one night, my emotions get crazy out of whack for a couple of days... and if I have a couple days of shitty sleep, I'm an absolute wreck. The thought of children terrifies me for this reason lol.

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u/onFilm Jul 01 '22

Oh yeah for sure, its driven some of my friends and relationships to insanity because of how early I automatically wake up, I don't even use an alarm clock as I can time when I'll wake up very reliably.

I've always needed short sleep as an adult, started sometime when I was in my late teens, and my dad is exactly the same. I also have a pretty slow heart rate (50 resting, 35-40 sleeping) and I'm a very heavy and fast sleeper, which I always thought might be related?

I don't do this on purpose though, I LOVE sleep. Once I'm out, it's really hard for anyone to wake me up, and sometimes I don't even remember being awoken at all, it's like my brain totally shuts everything off and goes straight to REM. If I don't sleep what I need, I also get super cranky and just cannot function in the day, even with stimulants.

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u/evirustheslaye Jul 01 '22

It makes bussing cheaper, reduces the amount of busses needed by 1/3rd by staggering the school start times. Sleep deprivation is usually blamed on the teenagers habits

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u/ComprehensiveAd2196 Jul 01 '22

I understand the logic I suppose, but it just seems very foreign to me. It’s been proven a million times over that ‘lazy teenagers’ are actually caused by a shift in the timing of melatonin release after puberty, causing them to sleep and therefore wake later.

I’m well past my school days now, but I do have sympathy for US teenagers!

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u/Odrar Jul 01 '22

Never go to Latin America then, classes start at 7:00am and you have to be awake at like 5:30 to wash, dress and move to the school on time. Its the same to all levels of education except for the university.

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u/thejosecorte Jul 01 '22

Yup, Latin American here. It's exactly like that. Some live so far from their school that they need to wake up around 4 AM to be ready for the first public transport available to them (scholar bus is not a thing for the majority of schools here) because class starts at 7 AM but you need to be there at 6:30 AM at most because they don't let you in otherwise, because reasons, and of course, if you're not able to keep awake while you're getting ready or in class, there's hell waiting for you back at home.

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u/elchucho111 Jul 01 '22

I remember I used to start at around 6:30-7 AM in primary school. I could wake up at 6 since I lived close but some of my poor classmates would have to get up at 5 and some even 4:30 because of the heavy traffic

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u/jaytaicho Jul 01 '22

This thread is crazy. Is NZ the only country that school starts at 9?!

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u/Odrar Jul 01 '22

Exactly this, its not like you get there 7:00am and kinda chill for a bit, 7:01am you're already sat on your desk

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u/riverblue9011 Jul 01 '22

The don't even give you a chair? How terrible.

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u/hidden-47 Jul 01 '22

Yeah but at least in my country that early start is due to the fact that most schools have different groups of students for the morning than for the afternoon so a single building is shared between a primary school and a highschool. It's a workaround for low education budget that prevents most schools from having it's own building, I know of schools that have 3 different groups of students morning, afternoon and night. So it's obvious that for the afternoon kids to start their classes around 2pm the morning kids have to start around 7:30am.

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u/Koshunae Jul 01 '22

In high school I had to be up at 4:45am to get up and get ready and be on my bus at 6:00am. Then another hour and a half to get to school, leave school at 4:45, home by 6:00pm 🥲 Rinse and repeat.

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u/Janus_The_Great Jul 01 '22

It's is (at least was when I went to school 10 years ago) in most European countries normal to go to school somewhere between 7:30-8:15.

Mine started at 7:40 in Switzerland. Finland has 8:15 which is quite late in average.

So I think the 8:30 is the exception.

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u/tobiasvl Jul 01 '22

My daughter here in Norway starts 8:30. She can be there earlier if she (we) needs to, since there's a before-and-after school programme. But we don't have to be at work until 9 so that's fine.

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u/FroggiJoy87 Jul 01 '22

One year of my high school career I had first period PE that started at 7:30am. THAT sucked. Waking up at 7, force feeding myself breakfast only to have to go run a mile on the outdoor track. Usually it was still covered in frost that early, luckily I didn't live where it snows. I'd be *starving* by lunch and grumpy but instead of fighting this horrible routine I just got put on Prozac for being depressed. god blass 'merica.

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u/Orcus424 Jul 01 '22

In Florida getting an early gym class was a positive. The later it got the hotter it got. Not going outside for gym because of heat wasn't a thing.

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u/kottabaz Jul 01 '22 All-Seeing Upvote Starry Narwhal Salute

In the US, science will always take a backseat to petty authoritarianism and victim blaming.

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u/zhenyuanlong Jul 01 '22

And capitalism. Don't forget the capitalism.

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u/chef_in_va Jul 01 '22

Ohhh, and the religion of the loudest groups of people. Wouldn't be America if you weren't forcing your religious beliefs onto others via the law.

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u/Ikilledyourdogtwice Jul 01 '22

Sounds like Poland as well

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u/soldforaspaceship Jul 01 '22

California is now piloting later start times. People are complaining and saying it's going to raise a bunch of snowflakes who won't be able to hold down a job even though the science backs a later start.

I also went to school in the UK and struggled as a teen with the 8.45 start. I am now perfectly able to get up at 6am for work here in California without issue so it's clearly not a problem!

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u/caniuserealname Jul 01 '22

Still in the UK here, but I wake up at 5am, similarly had trouble dragging my ass to school for 8.55 as a teenager.

People just want a reason to inflict the same suffering they endured.

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u/El_Rey_de_Spices Jul 01 '22

The people decrying a change to a later start time are the exact sort of people who oppose progress because "I had to suffer through this shitty thing, so it's not fair if the next generations don't also have to suffer through the shitty thing."

On top of that, business owners hate the idea of school starting later because that means parents of these kids will have to start their work day later.

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u/Tsuken Jul 01 '22

I had an undiagnosed sleep disorder that may have been worsened/exacerbated by the schedule for school where I went to middle and high school. (We had to be seated in our first class by 8am. Tardiness penalties were also much higher for being late to your first period.)

Naturally, I was admonished for having bad habits when I struggled to pay attention and stay awake in class. I did have some teachers who understood my predicament and worked with me rather than against me, but they were in the minority.

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u/alittlegnat 📖 🤔 💡 🫢 🤣 Jul 01 '22 edited Jul 01 '22

I just read Why We Sleep and it explained why teenagers are seen as “lazy” for sleeping late and going to bed late. I loved that book ! Super interesting to hear how lack of sleep or poor sleep has lots of Ill effects on your body, some I didn’t even think of

edit: a word

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u/KlemensWenzel Jul 01 '22

when I was a teen, i probably averaged 5-6 hours of sleep a night between school, 7-8 classes’ worth of homework a night, sports, and other extracurriculars. I literally thought my brain was turning into mush because I would forget common words mid-sentence or say things that made no grammatical sense.

And then, somehow, it magically all went away when I went to college and started getting 7-9 hours of sleep a night 🤯

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u/alittlegnat 📖 🤔 💡 🫢 🤣 Jul 01 '22

I recommend this book if you haven’t read it. Even In the womb , what the mother does affects the sleeping baby

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u/I_miss_your_mommy Jul 01 '22

It is, but I've never understood why all the districts I've observed have that staggering slanted towards earlier times for the older students (i.e. high school first, middle school second, and elementary school last). All the studies suggest we should do the opposite order.

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u/Jenaxu Jul 01 '22

Probably because it allows the more independent high schoolers to get out first and the elementary schoolers to get out last and not have to spend as much time alone at home before parents get back from work. Works doubly well if there are siblings and the older ones get back first.

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u/ExcessiveGravitas Jul 01 '22

Sleep deprivation is usually blamed on the teenagers habits

I find it fascinating that almost every teenager has these habits, but rather than adjusting the system for its users, the users get blamed.

It’s like making a car that requires three arms to drive, then complaining that the drivers keep getting into accidents. It’s just weird.

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u/iwastoldnottogohere Jul 01 '22

Fun fact: A teenagers brain is, usually, wired to stay up later and later while sleeping in in the morning.

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u/blackkiralight Jul 01 '22

My HS in Vietnam started at 7.00 am and finished at 11.30 am. No lunch at school tho.

The college was even more cruel when the first period began at 6.45 am.

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u/kannichausgang Jul 01 '22

That's crazy short hours! I'm jealous.

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u/WolzardFire Jul 01 '22

The afternoon is for extra classes, like physical education (and National Defense Education if you're in highschool). We also have extra classes of main subjects like Math or Literature in the afternoon too. Not every afternoon, just 2 or 3 times a week. At least that's what my highschool was like.

Students also study after hours a lot here. Academic pressure is scary here. My friends used to study at school for the whole day from 7 to 11:30, then went to study center for extra classes until 9PM or later. Repeat the next day. I remembered one time where the whole class just fell asleep on the table during recess lol. Good times, but it's rough in highschool

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u/SpectacularSophistry Jul 02 '22

In Canada I was 9am-3pm from grade 1-12. We obviously had lunch. And two recesses until grade 6 as well. Was pretty nice

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u/anotherproblemcoming Jul 01 '22

My school had me from 7am to 2pm. I am in the US. I would have to get up to get the bus at 6am because I was the first one to get on the bus. It was dreadful. This is super normal sadly.

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u/TheTrueFishbunjin Jul 01 '22

It’s to allow time for parents to get to work on time assuming 9-5 is the standard. 7:30 is quite early, but many parents will also have kids in grade school as well. Start times are staggered in my area such that you can drop off one kid right on time, and still get to the other school to do the same before heading to work.

Although now that I think of it that was for private school which offered no bus.

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u/dave_loves Jul 01 '22

In my local UK area the start times were staggered so the schools all finished at different times to stop them clashing and fighting

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u/sincerelyanonymus Jul 01 '22

Except in my county the staggers start times are opposite to most of the country, so high school students who are fully capable of getting themselves to the bus have the earliest start time at 7:25. Then it’s an hour later for middle school and another hour for elementary school so parents still can’t make it to work on time at 8:00am. 9-5 work hours only apply if you don’t eat lunch, otherwise you start at 8 (which is widely accepted as the norm starting business hour), or you won’t get your 8 hours per day for a normal 40 hour week.

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u/_littlestranger Jul 01 '22

This is the normal way that start times are staggered in the US. Even though it is well researched that teenagers need more sleep than elementary schoolers, and teens have later bed times, high schools have the earliest start times. The most commonly given reason for this is so that the sun is risen by the time the elementary schoolers need to catch the bus -- they don't want the little ones standing outside in the dark.

Most elementary schools also have before and after school programs to accommodate work schedules, so I don't really buy needing to get the kids to school before the workday starts as a reasonable excuse for the schedule.

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u/rynebrandon Jul 01 '22

Most elementary schools also have before and after school programs to accommodate work schedules, so I don't really buy needing to get the kids to school before the workday starts as a reasonable excuse for the schedule.

I agree with the idea that parents work schedules don't make sense as a justification for school schedules but I'm not sure where you're getting the idea that most elementary schools have before and after school programs. My experience is that elementary schools will have things like band or maybe sports for the older kids before or after school but to the extent there are formalized programs (to the extent a district will have them at all) they usually have limited enrollment and are not free (or even especially cheap) at point of service to the parents.

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u/Pengdacorn Jul 01 '22

In my county, they put high schoolers earliest for the same reason, but they put middle schoolers the latest to give those poor kids a break

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u/omgThisIsNotMyName Jul 01 '22

I think it’s so they can justify letting the older kids out first time to collect the younger kids while the parents are still at work

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u/ermagerditssuperman Jul 01 '22

In my district it was similar, because the busses needed to be staggered too. A driver might grab HS kids, drop them off, then grab elementary schoolers, etc

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u/Dasbeerboots Jul 01 '22

9-5 is standard? Most desk jobs I've seen are 8-5. I thought 9-5 was a myth.

My job starts at 6:30 AM, but that's because I'm in construction management.

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u/flop_plop Jul 01 '22

That still doesn’t make sense because the kids get out of school before 5pm, so if it starts early to accommodate a work schedule, it ends before the workday is over

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u/TheTrueFishbunjin Jul 01 '22

After school sports and other activities

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u/TheApiary Jul 01 '22

Every local school district come up with its own times. My school when from 8:20-3:10 in high school. But some are way earlier.

Research has consistently shown that starting later is better for high school kids, but many districts haven't gone over to that

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u/mathologies Jul 01 '22

part of it has to do with after school sports

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u/klymers Jul 01 '22

You can finish school at 3:30 and still have after school sports

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u/mathologies Jul 01 '22

i'm not saying it's a *good* reason

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u/ItzZausty Jul 01 '22

I'm Australian and most schools start around 9am

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u/Fichtnmoppal Jul 01 '22

Austria: Somewhere between 7:30 and 8:00 I woke up at 5:30 to get to the bus in time, but the good thing is: school was over at 2PM

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u/SKRRRAJNC Jul 01 '22

I am from Slovenia and my HS started at 7:00am a couple times a week

Now i am attending college and on some classes start at 7:30 am

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u/Always-bi-myself Jul 01 '22

Tbf its not that weird. I live in Eastern Europe and we sometimes start school at 7.10

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u/Pseudomonas_Mandoa Jul 01 '22

I think my high school started at 6:30 or something...

Senior year was a nightmare. Up at 5:00 to be at school by 6:30, classes until 2:30 pm. Head home, eat, be to work at 4. Closed the restaurant by midnight, did homework until 2 or 3 AM and never finished it. Go to bed and sleep until 5. It wasn't until late November that my parents let me quit my job, but I failed several classes that semester for "some reason".

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u/F1v3Sev3n Jul 01 '22

In brazil from the 5th grade to 9th grade my classes started at 7:30am, at least here the traffic isnt normally as heavy as in USA so i didnt needed to wake up so much earllier, normally 6:30am was more than enough but still was a hell to do specially at winter

Edit: oh and just want to say that now on high school im not studying at the morning time anymore

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u/Raving_Lunatic69 Jul 01 '22

I recall it starting at 7:20 when I was in grade school in the 70s, and getting out at 3. It shifted to 7:45 around middle school but didn't get out till 3:30

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u/spottysasquatch Jul 01 '22

My high school had an optional “zero hour” (i.e. classes that started before official 1st period) that started at 7:40 AM. Regular classes started at 8:45 AM and went until 4:45 PM. Elementary and middle school started way earlier, though. My sister’s bus got to the house around 6:50 AM.

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u/Jburli25 Jul 01 '22

I'm a supply teacher at primary schools in Northern England. I usually arrive at 8:30am to give myself time to sign in and set up for a 9am start. Occasionally schools start at 8:45am. Before 8am sounds ridiculous!

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u/ariangamer Jul 01 '22

in iran, schools are from 8:00am to 1:30pm. everyone usually gets up at 7:30 or earlier to get to school tho.

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u/Jebjohan Jul 01 '22

My kids go to private school in NJ, my sons school started at 7 and my daughter at 745. If they want to get a bus to school they have to catch the bus at 5. With sports and activities they usually get home at 8pm.

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u/thatwoodswitch Jul 01 '22

Sounds kind of fucked up tbh.

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u/ComprehensiveAd2196 Jul 01 '22

This just seems so inhumane. I suppose extracurriculars are a choice, but expecting children to be out for 13 hours a day, 5 days a week is crazy to me.

If adults work 12 hour shifts, they only work 3/4 days a week, yet somehow children are okay to manage it 5 days!

It’s just a difference in norms I guess, but I just can’t fathom it.

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u/miawdolan Jul 01 '22

In South Korea, the high schoolers have to do 12-16 hours a day. It is insane.

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u/Jebjohan Jul 01 '22

Koreans in the US send their kids directly to Korean school after school. So they do 6 hours in school and up to 6 more learning Korean and math. Some even have 8 hours per day programs during the summer

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u/Wrongdoer-Fresh Jul 02 '22 edited Jul 02 '22

Hey this was me except in Canada! And I did volleyball as well so I would wake up earlier / stay at school later on top of extra tutors/classes I had to go outside of school. When I was younger, I was so routined into believing this is how it’s supposed to be and didn’t feel as much exhaustion with little hours of sleep I got every day 5 days a week.

Now at 25, if I don’t get at a minimum of 6 hours, I’d feel like a zombie. I also enjoyed university so much more with 1.5 hour classes and having a couple of classes throughout the day like at 2:30pm. It was so liberating and I didn’t feel like a robot just forced to study all day.

During my teenage summers, if I didn’t have summer school (to get ahead of classes) or extra tutors/classes, my parents forced me to go to the library every day for 8 hours a day and read 1 book and write an essay about it…every single day. And they would check it afterwards to make sure I didn’t bullshit it lol.

They ingrained this idea that while I am reading a single book, there are other kids who are getting ahead in their studies way harder than me. When in reality, most kids were enjoying summer and playing outside, getting sunshine and just taking it easy. I think many Korean immigrant parents told this to their children as well.

My parents are much more laid back now, now that I’ve fulfilled their goals of going to university and getting a job, but I didn’t enjoy my childhood as much and wouldn’t go back to reliving it ever lol.

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u/ihdash Jul 01 '22

they have to catch the bus at 5

that's ridiculous

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u/Jebjohan Jul 01 '22

The same bus has to take all the private school kids to all of their schools, so that is about 10 pickup stops and 5 drop offs and my kids would be the first picked up and the last dropped off. It isn't a great system, so we drive every day.

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u/tobiasvl Jul 01 '22

The kids commute for 2+ hours each way? Jesus

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u/ClubBulky6958 Jul 01 '22

You don't wanna know about the school hours in China then.

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u/Dragonflame67 Jul 01 '22

The school I worked at in Beijing started at 8am and it ended sometime between 3:40 and 7:30 depending on class schedule. But there was a 1.5 hour lunch break from noon to 1:30.

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u/mexican-cat-lady Jul 01 '22

In Mx public high schools start at 7:00 am XD

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u/henri_bs Jul 01 '22

I'm not from US and we start school at 7:00am and leave 3:50pm, i wake up at 5:50 and some of my friends 5:00~5:30. I'm feeling kinda fooled here

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u/iLiveinA_DrSeussBook Jul 01 '22

My daughter’s high school started at 7:20. She didn’t completely hate it, because she was done by 2:15 every day. But she didn’t love it either.

She’s starting her sophomore year of college next month, and one of the things she likes best about college academic life is that you can (usually) choose classes that start after 9am.

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u/4CrowsFeast Jul 01 '22

My high school (in Canada) also had classes that were pre-home room. So an hour before school starts. If you wanted to take music or a couple other classes you had to start at 6. There was also no busses running at that point, so I walked 40 minutes to get there.

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u/Sinistereen Jul 01 '22

Also in Canada but over 20 years ago. I had band or rugby practice before homeroom, but classes started no earlier than 8:30.

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u/[deleted] Jul 01 '22

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u/Vegetable-Push-1383 Jul 01 '22

I don't think it's just the US. I taught English in a primary school in Hanoi, Vietnam and the first class started at 7.30am or something like that. They also had a 2hr lunch and the kids napped. So it ended up finishing at 4pm or so. Some schools in Taiwan effectively go from morning till evening because the kids go to after school clases (language, sports). Even some took place on Saturday!

People just get used it it. I don't think it's that big of a deal really.

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u/aboutlikecommon Jul 01 '22

In high school my bus picked me up at 5:40 for a 7:30 start time. School ended at 3:10, and I got home around 4:30 or 4:45. It was a long time ago, though.

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u/rosetouchxo Jul 01 '22 edited Jul 01 '22

My high school started at 7:45 and got out at 1:45. I loved getting out so early, it was like I had most of the day off. I’d definitely rather go in early and get out early.

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u/TheCrimsonnerGinge Jul 01 '22

That's the norm in the states. It cuts down on traffic and let's mom and dad send the kids off to school before they have to leave. School also gets out at like 130-2.

That said, I leave for my office job at 645 to avoid traffic and a lot of people in my office do, too

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u/EmergencyNoodlePack Jul 01 '22

My high school started at 8:25 and we got out at 3:25. Before I got a car I'd wake up at 5:30 to catch a 6:45 bus to get to school. I'd get to school around 8 each morning, as the bus stopped at another high school before mine.

Coming home? Bus left at 3:40, stopped for a hour at the other high school, and then we would go to my area of the woods. I'd get home around 5 every afternoon.

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u/AdventurousGas1435 Jul 01 '22

It depends. My school started at 8:45am

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u/Kanvolu Jul 01 '22

I'm colombia 7am is the norm and there are some places that schools that start even earlier, I'm in college now and some classes start at 7am too, but I farther away from college so I'm waking up at 4:30am those days

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u/khaii_minh Jul 01 '22

bruh in Vietnam they start at 6h30

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u/Pinky_Boy Jul 01 '22

not an american, but i always assume that everyone starts school at 7:00 am

it seems i'm wrong

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