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What do you think of this new California law?
Old 06-29-2022, 10:11 AM
  #1

Senate Bill 328

To ensure California's students get enough rest and are not asked to wake up too early for classes, effective Monday, middle schools cannot start before 8 a.m. For high schoolers, classes may not start earlier than 8:30 a.m.


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Old 06-29-2022, 10:13 AM
  #2

Truthfully I think it is lame. It is a three or four year issue and life just isnít going to continue that way. Sometimes you have to just deal.
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Old 06-29-2022, 10:28 AM
  #3

This is in line with what the research tells us about adolescent brain development and circadian rhythms. What looks like rebelliousness and lack of self-discipline to adults is actually simply the effect of hormonal changes on adolescent brains. In my community, they used to have a school schedule that was in complete opposition to what science tells us about this with the high school and middle school starting school at 7:25 a.m. and the elementary schools starting at 8:30. I was relieved when they finally started paying a little attention to brain development although I think they still start the high school day too early (8:00).
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Old 06-29-2022, 10:39 AM
  #4

This was actually passed before Covid and then they dropped it. I was wondering if they would bring it back. I also read that initially it said schools in rural areas were exempt. I wonder if that was included this time.
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Old 06-29-2022, 10:44 AM
  #5

Quote:
I also read that initially it said schools in rural areas were exempt. I wonder if that was included this time.
Yes, it is.


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Old 06-29-2022, 11:07 AM
  #6

Quote:
To ensure California's students get enough rest
I appreciate the effort and agree that schol should start later. But, this law is going to do nothing to ensure anything

Also, I mostly keep my political views to myself. Laws like this push my buttons, though. This issue should be a local school district decision.
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Old 06-29-2022, 11:11 AM
  #7

We switched our school start times 2 years ago....same year as hybrid/ remote craziness. Was hoping they would wait/ hold off on change. Nope!

Not a big fan for several reasons, but not sure what the MS and HS teachers felt after doing so. I do still feel many kids are on devices way too much/ too late and that interferes with healthy sleep patterns no matter what start time you set.

Elem ( me, until 2 weeks ago ) starts at 8am for kids ( used to be 8:20-8:30). MS and HS both start around 8:30, not sure. HS used to start at 7:20. It was 7:05 start time when I went to HS before airplanes were invented

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Old 06-29-2022, 11:16 AM
  #8

I like it. Kids in high school need more sleep than younger ones, so starting later makes sense.
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Old 06-29-2022, 11:22 AM
  #9

What Tori said. I don't think it'll ensure anything, but I think having class start later for older students makes sense. When we did this in our community, we had some issues with after school sports and how to adjust.
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Old 06-29-2022, 11:29 AM
  #10

It is research based, and I agree with it. I wish my district would adopt similar. Our HS and MS start at 7:30, and elementary at 8:15.


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Old 06-29-2022, 11:32 AM
  #11

I know school is the top priority, but I wonder how this effects things like sports, or the ability of some students to work after school.

My school district has an "early start" committee. They have been exploring this for quite a few years. The issue they have run into is that we have two bus runs. If MS/HS students could not start before 8am, then our elementary school students could not start until after 9 and they would be in school until after 4pm. We had a few extended school days and the elementary school kids were melting into an emotional mess on the floor. If elementary students went earlier, then they would be waiting for buses in the dark for most of the school year.
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For years
Old 06-29-2022, 11:39 AM
  #12

educators have heard that research supports later school starts for teens, but making it a law..?
I feel it's up to the districts to implement.
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Old 06-29-2022, 11:40 AM
  #13

It sounds good in theory but I think a bigger issue is how late so many kids at awake at night because they are on their phones. I also think it should be a district level decision because of issues like bussing, district size etc.
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Old 06-29-2022, 11:40 AM
  #14

Wow. I’m shocked that schools start earlier than 8:30 to begin with. That’s our normal bell time, between 8:30 and 9:00. Depending on what bus route you are on. Majority of middle school or high school kids walk or take public transit.

I can’t imagine the struggles I would have had if I had to wake up my son any earlier. His high school started at 8:40. I know that he rarely rolled out of bed before 8:15. He biked to school.
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Old 06-29-2022, 11:40 AM
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Old 06-29-2022, 11:49 AM
  #15

To be more specific about brain development, part of the reason that it's hard to get teens to go to bed early enough to get enough sleep is that their bodies don't begin to produce melatonin as early as adult and child bodies do. And the reason it's hard to get them up in the morning is that their bodies continue to produce melatonin later. It's a shift in circadian rhythm that shifts back when their brains are fully mature. So, when we have 7:00-7:30 start times, we are requiring teens, who are probably already sleep-deprived because they didn't have melatonin circulating in their systems until 11:00 or so, to try to concentrate while higher levels of melatonin are still circulating in their bodies. An 8:30 start time may not solve the sleep deprivation issues entirely but at least they aren't trying to learn at a time that their bodies are telling them to sleep.

I'm not entirely sure what the rationale is for rural schools being exempt.

ETA:
Quote:
our elementary school students could not start until after 9 and they would be in school until after 4pm.
But, if you look at brain development and melatonin release, it would make more sense to schedule the elementary students for the earlier start. Yes, they may need more hours of sleep but children that age begin to release melatonin shortly after it gets dark so it's not as hard for them to get to sleep earlier.

Quote:
It sounds good in theory but I think a bigger issue is how late so many kids at awake at night because they are on their phones.
Phones, in fact, electronics in general don't help the situation but they would still have trouble going to sleep. I remember reading or listening to music until 11:00-12:00 as a teen even though I often got up at 5:00 a.m. (with difficulty!!) to get in a couple of hours of piano practice before school. Now I know that those were probably not especially productive hours of practice.
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Old 06-29-2022, 11:53 AM
  #16

I don’t mind it, kids that age don’t go to bed early enough so maybe this will help. I also like that it will help with traffic congestion in neighborhoods where MS and HS are in close proximity to elementary schools.

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Old 06-29-2022, 11:59 AM
  #17

Quote:
ETA:
Quote:
our elementary school students could not start until after 9 and they would be in school until after 4pm.
But, if you look at brain development and melatonin release, it would make more sense to schedule the elementary students for the earlier start. Yes, they need more hours of sleep but children that age begin to release melatonin shortly after it gets dark so it's not as hard for them to get to sleep earlier.
My concern was not about brain development when I say that. My concern is that elementary students would be riding buses in the dark to get home during the winter. Some of our students have an hour long bus ride so they would not be home until after 5pm. It gets dark by 4:30 and some of them have to walk to their houses from bus stops.
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Old 06-29-2022, 12:01 PM
  #18

Quote:
I know school is the top priority, but I wonder how this effects things like sports, or the ability of some students to work after school.
In my large district high school starts first (7:20), followed by elementary (8:40), and then middle school (9:30).


A few years ago they tried to swap it and have elementary start first with high school last. It only lasted for a year as it highly impacted sports and after school jobs. It also impacted a lot of families who depended on their high school students for childcare in the afternoon for their elementary age students.

It caused lots of issues for elementary parents as well, with an 8:40 start time many parents can drop off prior to work (school opens at 8:00 for breakfast) but with a 9:30 start time they couldn’t manage this any longer. You also had some kids sitting in morning extended day for 3 hours prior to school even starting (drop off for extended care starts at 6:30). Middle and high school kids could walk to school alone or in groups (many do) or get on a bus independently, not many elementary school students can do this.

We have to have the staggering start times the way we do for bus schedules.

Many of the parents who had pushed for it due to the studies about sleep for teenagers actually then admitted they weren’t for it any longer.

I also agree that this should be up to individual districts and not a state law.
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Old 06-29-2022, 12:01 PM
  #19

We had something similar tried out in a neighboring district and this year voted on by parents, students, and staff. It was a disaster in the neighboring district and voted down by all parties in our district.
Current start times: High school 7:30 (DD bore the brunt of early bus pick up as she was one of the first picked upon a very early route at about 6:10 but there were many routes like this in our large district)
Middle School: 8:10
Elementary School: 8:45 to 9:15

Everyone agreed that ideally kids need more sleep and research (as many have mentioned) has back that up.
It assumed though that school times are the only thing in consideration and that students would go to bed at the same time given later start times for school.
Negatives were: Some teachers and staff and high school students have jobs; changing the start times means they'll either work before school or have difficulty doing so after school. Middle/high school release times would be later. As it is, many of the sports and clubs would be done at almost 5 o'clock (on occasion DD's cross country would finish close to 6 if they had a midweek meet) and that would be pushed even later if the release time was later. It'd still leave them with work to be done after school.
In our area, many students participate in extra curricular activities. I know DD did. Some days in middle school she'd be at drama rehearsal until five, come home and leave for a 7 pm soccer practice. Later start/stop would make it challenging for older kids to participate in activities outside of school. It ends up not necessarily resulting in more sleep for kids
In some cases with school districts who have done it, they've moved some activities for kids to before school that were previously after school.
Not to say there aren't positives but the negatives are also there.
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Old 06-29-2022, 12:05 PM
  #20

I agree it wonít ensure anything but I think itís a step in the right direction. Itís well documented that teenagers circadian rhythms are different than children or adults and that should be addressed. For those concerned that kids will be walking from the bus in the dark, my grandchildren had to walk to the bus stop in the dark every morning to get to school by their 7:45 start time. Iíd rather have them in the dark in the afternoon than early morning.
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Old 06-29-2022, 01:05 PM
  #21

Quote:
In our area, many students participate in extra curricular activities. I know DD did. Some days in middle school she'd be at drama rehearsal until five, come home and leave for a 7 pm soccer practice. Later start/stop would make it challenging for older kids to participate in activities outside of school. It ends up not necessarily resulting in more sleep for kids
But, an earlier start time also doesn't necessarily mean that extracurriculars get done earlier. When my daughter was in high school, the day started at 7:20. She still had track and cross-country practice until 5:30 most days and meets didn't usually start earlier because other schools were not on the same schedule. When she was rehearsing for a drama production (they did three of these/year) rehearsals usually went until 9:00 or so. When she traveled to another town to play in a select wind ensemble, she generally didn't get home until well after 10:00. I will say that an earlier release time meant that high school kids didn't necessarily have to choose between athletic and arts extracurriculars to the extent that they do with a later release but that could be resolved if they moved the start even later so that some extracurriculars could happen before school. I think it would be easier, for instance, for high school kids to run at 7:20 a.m. than it was to study calculus at that hour.
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New CA law
Old 06-29-2022, 01:26 PM
  #22

I think itís an excellent and long overdue change to the high school start time. I say this as a former HS teacher. Sports coaches in particular wonít like it, but the majority of students donít play sports. I think academics are much more important, and they need to be awake to learn anything. Telling teens to go to sleep earlier does not work. They canít. Their bodies donít let them, and thatís been well documented.
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Old 06-29-2022, 01:28 PM
  #23

Tori58 did an excellent job explaining the science behind it.

I teach high school. On occasion our bell schedule is completely upended due to testing or pep rallies. Seeing my 1st period students later in the day is like seeing completely different people in terms of alertness.

I think starting at 9 would interfere with kobs and extracurriculars, but 8:30 would be a good compromise. My school currently starts at 7:55.
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Old 06-29-2022, 01:34 PM
  #24

Tori, just speaking to my own experience with my DD. Weekday meets for cross country were within district (we have like 15 high schools) so they were all on roughly the same schedule so, yes, an earlier start time meant an earlier finish time. She had teammates who then went on to participate in other activities later. On weekends she was chosen for invitational meets which were hours out of town so she actually had to get up earlier on Saturdays than she did for school. She also did theatre and participation in two out of three productions each year and these rehearsals only went to approximately the same time as athletic practices (even during the dreaded tech week) since her teacher, like so many of us, had a family and life outside of school lol. Just giving my two cents from the other side given that it came up this year. My comments are reflective of many in the community but obviously not all. I should add they were discussing moving high school start times to like 930.
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Old 06-29-2022, 01:36 PM
  #25

I don't know if it will ensure more learning, but I like it! I am not a morning person at all so being able to wake at 7 would be luxurious.
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District decision
Old 06-29-2022, 01:40 PM
  #26

I agree with each district deciding for themselves. My former school started at 8:30 and ended at 3:30.
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Old 06-29-2022, 01:42 PM
  #27

Quote:
. Laws like this push my buttons, though. This issue should be a local school district decision.
I agree with ICrazy. Thatís why there are local school boards.

When my kids were in HS they had zero period band classes that started at 7 am, before the regular school day. These were to allow the kids who had full academic schedules to be able to fit in their music classes. Would that be allowed under this law?
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Old 06-29-2022, 01:44 PM
  #28

I have read the science of brain development however I have not read any science research that thoroughly proves this method works to increase student performance or whatever the goal may be. I always hesitated as a teacher when I heard "research says." I am happy to read what anyone here shares though because I love reading about student needs and research.



I suspect that most kids will still stay up late on their devices and continue to be late for school or be truant. We can't fix parenting in this country. There are just too many people that do not value education and do not think about their child's future.
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Old 06-29-2022, 01:47 PM
  #29

I think it's great. There have been study after study about that age's clock and it falls in line with it. Another factor is the teenagers working evenings and needing to not be up at the crack of dawn.
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Old 06-29-2022, 02:57 PM
  #30

I think it's a good thought/idea in general, but as others have mentioned I'm not sure it should be an actual state law. It should be left up to individual districts.

Two of the three districts I've worked in (including my current) have had the schedule where elementary starts first, followed by middle and HS, based on the research. I mean, it does make sense. Most little kids naturally wake up early anyway, and HS students need that extra sleep. I think the pp who mentioned that the HS kids will just stay up even later then is likely right, but there is no harm in at least trying to set them up for success!

Selfishly, I wish we were starting last in elementary, because sleeping in the morning is my preferred schedule! I have to be at work at 7:30; kids start coming at 7:50. In the school I was in before this one, the only one that didn't do the HS starts last thing, teachers started at 8:30 and kids started at 9:00. It was so much nicer for me!

Our big city district just decided to sort of try to do this for next year. It's been a hot mess with bus schedules and things like that, since the district is so huge. There was some nonsense about ranking the elementary schools according to some criteria nobody really understood, and then letting them pick their start time in that order. My friends who work there are not happy about it.
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Old 06-29-2022, 03:36 PM
  #31

We start anywhere between 8 and 8:30. We still have kids getting on busses as early as 5:30am.
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It's a joke
Old 06-29-2022, 03:58 PM
  #32

The pediatrician behind this certainly thinks he's doing something great. Yes, in theory it sound fine, but the school days ends later and extracurriculars get pushed back as well. My students last year weren't happy to learn we would be doing this. I should mention that because of busing my school was the only secondary in my district not to do this last year. Word from the other high schools, unsurprisingly, was that it changed nothing.

In then end it's one more excuse to enable poor parenting.
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My district changed for this reason
Old 06-29-2022, 04:06 PM
  #33

about 6 years ago.
All kids had a later start time once it was put in place.
I loved not having to be at work so early. I truly think most kids benefitted from it too.
Of course, there are parents who let their kids stay up all night on their phones or games. Nothing is going to stop that.
For the most part, I think it really helped us with having fewer kids late and tired.
Many of the kids there were involved with sports.
I think most of the parents liked it too. I never once heard a complaint about starting later.
However, we are in a unique corner of the world and high school students seldom had jobs during the school year. They tend to work summer jobs.
I guess it depends on where you live and the average lifestyle of the parents.
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Old 06-29-2022, 04:22 PM
  #34

i guess my mind went automatically to wether the kids would love it. I think they would. Imagine thinking, "oh, goody! I get to sleep in today!" Then they'd be in a better mood, the teachers would be in a better mood. However, it could backfire and family might not have anyone at home when the kid has to get himself awake and up and meet the bus or get school on their own. So in reality, each case is probably going to be qualified as a success depending upon each indivdual. 😀 still with me? So is the law good or bad? Who knows? I just knew that as an eleventh grader, I went to huge school with three shifts available and you picked the shift that worked for you. I liked the middle shift. Didn't have to get up too soon and could go directly to sports and clubs at the end of the day.

I doubt there's any one schedule that works for everyone.
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Old 06-29-2022, 04:29 PM
  #35

Quote:
The pediatrician behind this certainly thinks he's doing something great.
This is not the idea of a single pediatrician, or any pediatrician, really. It's the result of a whole body of neuroscientific research.
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Old 06-29-2022, 04:40 PM
  #36

Quote:
The American Academy of Pediatrics, which backed the proposal along with groups such as the California Medical Assn. and the California State Parent Teacher Assn., pointed to studies that found links between more sleep from later start times and better school performance, and better health, among adolescents.


Quote:
The American Academy of Pediatrics also called for more research to document the effects of later start times and advised that average commutes in a community and other local factors should also be considered ó a key argument made by the California School Boards Assn., the California Teachers Assn. and other opponents of the bill.

Link here
https://www.latimes.com/california/s...-times-new-law
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Old 06-29-2022, 04:54 PM
  #37

I believe that rural has to do with population within the community and qualifications listed in the penal codes?

http://blog.csba.org/late-start-rural/

The district where I live in the mountains will undeniably apply for rural status and most likely it will be granted .

Before retiring in 2020 the district where I work was applying for the exemption because were on the "cusp" for qualifications. Since I am back part time this will really affect me. I already wake up at 5:00 for the 8:45am start .
If we start at 7:45 am . . .oh my
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Old 06-30-2022, 06:02 AM
  #38

My district started this a year or two before Covid. They switched the elementary start time from 9:00 to 8. I canít remember what the start times for the high and middle schools were, I just know they were later. Because of Covid, elementary was switched to a 7:45 start, high school is 8 or 8:30, and middle school is 9. Itís going to stay this way because of the bussing situation (not enough drivers). Middle school teachers are pissed because they donít get off work till 4:30. Canít say I blame them. I love getting off at 3. All the sports things were worked out, but I do know a friendís soccer practice for her kiddo didnít even start till 7 pm and didnít get done till 9.
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Old 06-30-2022, 07:52 AM
  #39

My daughter's high school tardy time was 8:40. She played sports and did activities at night and was still always exhausted. You also can't just force your body straight to sleep after you get home from soccer games at 10pm so you're going to stay up.
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Old 06-30-2022, 07:58 AM
  #40

After Daylight Savings Time ends here, it gets dark very early and there wouldn't be enough daylight to fit in all the after school sports if MS/HS starts too late in the day. I think school starting at 8:00 is fine. Studies have shown that the brain needs a bit of down time from electronics before sleep come easily, so maybe the teens need better sleep hygiene. I'm in the "just deal with it" camp.
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Old 06-30-2022, 08:35 AM
  #41

Theyíll just stay up later and still be tired in class.
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Old 06-30-2022, 05:22 PM
  #42

In my district, it has been discussed, but so many parents depend on older kids for after school care for their elementary siblings that they need to get HS and MS kids out first. Also the bus routes are doubled up and that's an issue as well.
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Too much interference
Old 07-02-2022, 09:12 AM
  #43

I think this decision should be made my local school boards and administration, not state government.

I understand the research, and I do think some schools have super early start times, especially when you take into account transportation to school and when the kids have to get up, it is really early. However, I still think this is too much government interference and this should be a local school board decision.

When I was in high school, our local district provided busing (I was a Catholic School). They found out they could save a substantial amount of money by going to a two-tiered busing system. Elementary started at 7:45 and ended at 2:15, middle and high school started at 9:00 and ended at 3:30. One of things we found at my school was that students who couldn't drive, where still at school super early because their parents dropped them off on their way to work. Those students really weren't getting the extra sleep. We also found that of those students who drove, many left around the same time as their parents, so they were there early as well. Those who left on their own where often late. It was also really hard on us because at our Catholic School, the closest team in our conference was 45 minutes away, with many being between 75-90 minutes away. With spring sports especially, the games started early to avoid darkness, which meant that teams had to leave school early, often around 2:15 or 2:30. it was a small Catholic School and many kids participated in sports. When sports teams left early, we only had 2-3 kids per class for the last hour. Our school ended up having early release days often because of this. In the case of sports, it seems our high school would have been better being on the earlier route. I know the research about teens and sleep, but honestly students weren't being served better academically by having an hour shortened off of each day either. Eventually, the school went to their own schedule and didn't use the busses since only 2-3 kids were using it in the first place.
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