Debate Surrounds Bell Schedule Accomodations

Is the new school schedule really worth is?

Ali Montee

Is the new school schedule really worth is?

According to the Child Mind Institute, teenagers require over 9 hours of sleep a night, but over a 3rd get only 5 or 6. In response to the high stress levels of students and nationwide epidemic of sleep deprivation, the state of California passed a bill forbidding that schools begin before 8:30. In response, Campolindo’s school board has edited its bell schedule to accommodate this legislature.

Many students, such as sophomore Josephine Cruse (she/her), are excited by the accomodation in schedules. Cruse states that the later start times will not only “allow a lot of people who stay up late to keep up with their classes to get more sleep,” but also “help kids get to school on time.” For students that have to juggle sibling care or home upkeep with early school start times, later classes may make education much more equitable.

Other students, however, are skeptical that this shift in start times will properly address student stress. Later start times will, of course, require later end times. Junior Neve Abcari (he/him) states that he’s “not sure if that sacrifice is worth it.” The time accommodations provided in the morning may be negated by those kept at school for another half hour. For those that need to get to after-school jobs or take care of younger siblings, later end times will likely complicate transportation.

Freshman Helena Linnen (she/her) also has her doubts about later start times: “A concern of mine is that students won’t even get the extra sleep.” Because many Campolindo students get rides from working parents or public transit, it’s possible that they would still need to arrive to school at the same time regardless of the bell schedule. Furthermore, if students are still receiving the same course load and at school for the same amount of time, an extra half hour in the morning will likely be ineffective in benefiting student mental health.

Although the statewide focus on student health is an encouraging step in the right direction, it’s disheartening to see such ineffective accommodations. As students drown in busywork and anxiously inflate the importance of college decisions, it’s unlikely that an extra half hour of shut-eye will do any good.