Brief: Students Struggle With 8 am Arrivals

The spectrum of reactions to the new arrival time shows how diverse our community is.


Asante Elson

Senior Azari Thomas demonstrates the feelings of many students toward the new 8 am arrival time.

This fall, the Upper School has returned to its pre-covid start time: a mandatory 8 am sign-in for all students (except seniors without an L-block class). 

This policy is either a hit or miss for the Friends community, depending on who you ask. Some students think it’s an opportunity to get work done or socialize, while others hate the idea of waking up an hour earlier. For sophomores and juniors, this is the first time in their Friends experience that students have been required to arrive at school by 8 in the morning.

Students’ different reactions to this new development is one measure of how diverse we are as a community. Some students need more sleep. Others have lots of energy at 8 am. Some gather in the library to study, get ready for the day, and do homework. Others find comfortable spots on campus to nap before the school day starts.

Either way, this arrival time change affects not just students, but families. Students coming from farther away had to wake up early even when the arrival time was 9 am.  This pushes their schedule back an hour, cutting into sleep not only for the student but any adult who might drive them to school.

The school puts a strong emphasis on health. In multiple past Collections, students have been advised to get sufficient sleep, and told that not doing so can result in worse performance in school.  That raises the question: is this change consistent with that message?