School Start Time Pushed Back

School+Start+Time+Pushed+Back

Estuardo Garcia and Alex Nunez

With the current schedule in SJHS, most students are starting their 1st-period class at 7:58 am. However, in 2019, California’s governor Gavin Newsom signed legislation that will push back school start times of high schools to 8:30 am. With this change being implemented next school year, staff and students began giving their opinions on the law.

“I think for the most part that it’s actually a good thing because there’s a lot of science behind the data that says that teenagers will do better if they’re allowed to come a little later to school during the day,” said Rob Odou, an AP Psychology teacher at SJHS.

Similarly, counselor Angela McClaron stated, “Starting a little bit later will be good. Hopefully, it will decrease the number of tardies that we have of coming to school.”

Some students, however, don’t think the later start time will bring the desired effects. Daniel Herrera, a junior student, explained  “It’s not gonna do anything because all it’s going to do is give kids another reason to stay up an hour at night, so like ‘oh, school’s at 8:30, so let me stay up till like 11 or 12 rather than 10:30 or 11.”

Another junior, Karime, said, “I don’t think it would be as effective, because either way, I’m pretty sure most of us are gonna get around the same amount of sleep.” She explains how the change will affect student-athletes, stating, “Sports would end later, and right now with the time change, like, we end our practice when it’s getting dark. Imagine later when it’s gonna be super dark and we end practice by then. We’ll be tired and not want to do our own homework.”

However, Mr. Odou still thinks that the change in start time is essential to helping students.  “Teenagers need 8-10 hours of sleep, and I know 85% of all teenagers don’t get enough sleep. We know that by again, data, that hopefully they’ll get a little more rest and they’ll be a little more alert. The data shows that this is a true thing, but nobody likes to change, and sometimes change is inevitable because we need to try to find ways to make education better for all of us,” he explained.

Despite the changes that are coming, the staff of SJHS is still ready to provide support to all their students, regardless of the circumstances. As a message to the students, Angela McClaron said, “We are here to support you all, and just know that you all are awesome, give yourselves a pat on the back and a good hug and keep doing what you’re doing.”