Later start times make its way to campus for the 2023 school year


Dania Nasreldeen

In late 2019, Senate Bill 328 was signed by Governor Gavin Newsom. This new state law requires middle schools to start no earlier than 8:00am and high schools to start no earlier than 8:30am.

Many students were happy to hear such good news, but after physically coming back to school many were shocked to see that the school time at Ayala hasn’t changed. It actually starts 10 minutes earlier than previous years. Although the bill was signed in 2019, schools have until July 2022 to comply with this new law, meaning campuses might not see later start times until next school year.

The School Board recently agreed to junior highs starting at 9:12 a.m. ending at 3:15 p.m. High schools would start at 8:35 a.m. and get out at 3:22 p.m., which will become effective at the beginning of the 2022-2023 school year.

Students may be happy to soon be able to sleep in a little longer, but it’s actually a very controversial topic among students, faculty, and parents. They argue it’s harder to balance work schedules and it throws the whole day off-balance. Others argue that it’s good because students are exhausted and need the extra hour of sleep.

After breaking the surface, students, parents, and teachers have found the many issues and problems that come with this bill. Schools will have to change their entire schedules and end later.

Awful, you might as well get school over with. If it starts later, it’ll end later, which sucks,” freshman Jacob Tan said. “Plus, people would just stay up later and the same cycle will continue. It’s unnecessary. It literally doesn’t change anything.” 

The students are mostly divided on the topic. Some argue it’s harder to balance schedules and after-school activities, while others argue that students can increase the amount of sleep they receive further boosting their mood.

“It could prevent a lot of people from sleeping in class. Students would be more well rested. Attendance would also be better as well as attitude,” freshman Stephanie Lyn said. “People are always so grumpy, but I think this will be good and more people will be eager to learn.”

Although there are many issues and inconveniences that come with later school start times, there’s always a bright side and many other students can see that.

“I think it’s great for students to get more sleep. We are exhausted and sleep deprived, so I think it will help students be more aware and focused. It’ll probably help raise grades too because they’ll be more well-rested,” sophomores Isabella Lathrof and Brianna Sanchez agreed. 

However, it seems like coaches are against it due to sport tournaments, clubs, and other after school activities. 

“As a coach it’s bad, because it pushes sporting events farther, not solving the problem of sleeping early or it’ll make students skip class in order to get to their tournaments,” swim coach and AP Environmental Science Teacher Pamela Luncz said. “As a teacher, I don’t like the idea at all. It’s going to make the day feel longer as a morning person. It’s not helping, just pushing things back. The cycle continues.” 

Most teachers also believe it’s unnecessary. It would not cause any difference, and students will still be as stressed and sleep deprived as before. There will also be less time for homework.

“It is pointless. They are just pushing everything back one hour including sleep. It’s not saving any time because after school activities also get pushed back. It defeats its own purpose,” World History teacher Amy Campbell said. 

Out of all, teachers and coaches realize the harm that comes from later school start times. It’s a nice idea, but when it comes down to it, students have to think about everything this could mean for their time spent outside of school. Once students realize this, most resent this new bill rather than support it. Although people argue to change or remove this bill, it may be too late. 

If students protest now, they will still have to go through the long process of removing the bill, which means they would have to endure or enjoy this for at least a year. The student body will find out next school year if later school start times really are beneficial or quite useless.