PC: Jack Hollingsworth, Getty Images
PC: Jack Hollingsworth, Getty Images

Prepare To Change Your Alarm Clocks

Starting in the 2022-2023 school year, California schools will start later. How do SDHS students and teachers feel about this change?

March 3, 2022

The past few school years have been full of change after change, and with the start of next year’s 2022-2023 school year, SDHS will see yet another new development in our education: a later school starting time.  Schools in  California will start at a later time in the morning, as required by a California law that will not allow middle schools to start before 8 AM, and high schools before 8:30 AM.

 Many health professionals and countless studies have shown the reason behind concepts such as California’s Senate Bill 328 law: the possibility of more sleep that benefits student’s wellbeing.  According to an article titled “How Would Later School Start Times Affect Sleep?” from the sleep health information site “Sleep Foundation” teens ages 14-17 need eight to ten hours a sleep per night yet studies have shown that as much as 70% of highschoolers do not get enough sleep on school night. The article informs that more sleep via later school starting times means better school performance.s

Sophomore Sierra Datwyler says “More sleep? Yes please!” to our new schedule- to- be.  “Yes, please.  I need sleep.  I don’t have a job therefore nothing affects me other than more sleep.  So yay!”  Datwyler explains that so far, there’s nothing in her life that the new schedule would interrupt. Like the perspective many other students surely have, Datwyler’s opinion on a later starting time is characterized by the hopeful prospects of more sleep time – something all of us could use.

More sleep? Yes please!

— Sophomore Sierra Datwyler

However, the issues that next year’s later start time could subject SDHS’s schedule to, especially for students who participate in lots of extracurricular activities, cast it in a negative light for some.  “I hate it.  It doesn’t make any sense,” says sophomore Lelah Rodriguez.  “That means we’re just gonna [sic] get home later.  And then it’s gonna [sic]mess up all the schedules for sports and stuff.” Rodriguez thinks her peers will not see an improved sleep time because they will just go to bed later. She also expresses concerns about being dismissed from school at a time closer to Lone Hill’s dismissal because it could cause a chaotic traffic crisis.

Now what do teachers think about this situation?  “It’s a state law so we have to start at 8:30. I guess it’s just gonna [sic] be an adjustment, but I actually think that it will be good to have that extra time in the morning,” states Spanish teacher Ms. Veling.  Ms. Veling feels the extra hour of sleep in the morning will ultimately benefit her student’s classroom performance.  “It seems like everyone’s asleep until period two.  People start waking up around period two.”  But when it comes to being dismissed closer to Lone Hill, she says “That’s gonna be a nightmare.”

There are exciting, and not-so-exciting aspects of starting school later in the morning next year.  Perspectives on this issue range from hopes of improved sleep and health benefits, to the stress  of new schedules and more traffic.  As Ms. Veling puts it,  “It’s just another change.  Which is hard.”  As far as how this new change will affect the SDHS community, only time will tell.


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