California schools starting later


Students arrive on the first day of school before their first class. Under a new law, California high schools must start no earlier than 8:30 a.m.

Ashley Lundberg, Staff Writer

Thanks to a flourish of Calif. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s pen, Rio students can now hit the snooze button a few more times in the morning.

Senate Bill 328, which Newsom signed into law in late 2019, requires all high schools to start no later than 8:30 a.m. The bill went into effect this school year, and led Rio to move their start time from 8:05. 

Supported by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the bill aims to help improve teens’ sleep, leading to better overall health and academic performance.

However, there have been concerns over the late end time that this bill had caused. Rio now gets out at 3:30, rather than 3:05.

“I think that the new start time is worse for my sleep schedule,” said junior Madison Burt. “I have less time to do my homework after school. I need to wake up at about the same time that I did last year, and then, on top of that, stay up later to do homework.”

The reasoning behind the bill is to compensate for teenagers’ internal clocks (also known as circadian rhythms), which often cause them to stay up later and make it harder to get up in the morning. Senior Julia Hayes believes that the time change will not help her sleep more.

“While it does allow me to sleep in a half-hour later, I would say it also makes me stay up a half-hour later,” she said of the later time. “It doesn’t affect my length of sleep, but just pushes everything back.”

After-school activities have also been affected. It can be hard to move the times of outdoor sports, where daylight is an issue; members of the JV football team recently had to leave school early, before sixth period, on Aug. 19 to get to their 5:00 game at Ponderosa. 

“School starting and ending late pushes back practice times, so we don’t end until later,” said frosh football player Luke Rolli. “I will have to miss school sometimes for sports, but not a lot.”

As the school year gets going and students start to adjust, time will tell of the impacts of the new schedule.