Loading articles...

High School Tries Late Start To Improve Attendance, Pass Rates

It’s back to school for teens across the city, but students at one Toronto institution are finding the transition a little easier this year.

While every other high school is packed at 9am, Eastern Commerce Collegiate starts the day at 10am so students can get more sleep.

Eastern has just started a two-year pilot project to find out if that extra hour of sleep will help attendance and pass rates. Of course, classes also end an hour later than the average school, at 4:13pm.

Math teacher Wayne Erdman is a fan of the late start. He found students in his 9am class often showed up late or sleepy and they had an alarmingly high failure rate as a result.

“In my period one second-semester class last year, I had a 46 per cent failure, which is horrendous,” he noted.

“Generally, this is a pattern. No matter what course period one [is], the failure rate is much, much higher.”

Principal Sam Micelli concurs.

“We know proper sleep for the 13 to 19 [age] group is critical. Without it they can’t retain info, learn [or] process adequately,” he said.

Teachers expect to get a sense of whether the late start is helping within a couple of months.