Law Requires Later School-Day Start Time


Yasmine Chang, Staff Writer

California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law a new rule for all middle and high schools across the state on October 13. As a result, many schools will be adjusting their school-day start times beginning in the 2022-2023 school year.

The new lay requires that middle schools start no earlier than 8:00am, while high schools are required to start no earlier than 8:30am.  The hope is that the rate of teen sleep deprivation will decline as a result of a later school-day start time.

According to principal John Walker, last year’s Stanford survey administered to the Campolindo student body revealed that students average less than 7 hours of sleep per night on school nights. “I think it’s too little. I would like for our students to be well rested and ready for school and extracurricular activities,” said Walker.

School nurse Barbara Polanger recommended “8 to 10 hours [of sleep] for teenagers,” although she “doubt[s] the majority of students get the recommended 8 to 10 hours of sleep per night.”

Walker explained that the new law will require a re-evaluation of the district’s current schedule, as there are currently 2 days that start before 8:30am each week. “[The administration is] gonna have to take a look at our bell schedule,” he said. “We’ve just started conversations about possible ideas. And we also have to work closely with our partner school districts. The Moraga School District, the Orinda School District, thew Lafayette School District, and the Walnut Creek School District. Because we’re only a high school district.”

Walker added, “The school schedule also has to be approved by the governing board. So, the governing board will have the ultimate decision about approving a school schedule.”

Freshman Raena Chan said, “I think it’s great. I’ll get to sleep in more.” Chan admitted to only getting about 4 to 8 hours of sleep nightly.

Unfortunately for most upperclassmen, they will not be able to see this bill in action as it will be 1st implemented during 2022-2023 school year. Senior Josiah Klock expressed his disappointment in learning that this law would take effect after he graduated. “I could really benefit from it,” he said.

Polanger recommended ways that students can get more sleep in the meantime. “Having a regular bedtime,” Polanger said, is 1 of the things that can help.

Chan noted the reasons why going to bed earlier sometimes can be challenging. “It’s ideal to have an early bedtime but the thing is there’s so much homework and tests that I have to study for that I can never reach that goal,” she said.

“Perhaps this new law would help, although we’ll have to watch it carefully and I think we’ll need to do additional surveys to see if it is positively impacting our kids,” said Walker.