Students stepped back onto the Weston Ranch High School campus full-time this month for the first time since March 2019. However, students arrived at a much different time. Rolling into the new school year of 2021-2022, many schools in California have followed a new law for high schools recommending schools start no earlier than 8:30. Unfortunately, many schools in California have not participated in this new rule, which has affected our students poorly.
California has become the first state in the country to delay the start time of school. Researchers believe it can help students focus and participate in activities more. The bill’s author said that “California will now become the first state to require later start times in response to medical research that shows most teens are sleep deprived as a result of changes to their biological clocks that prevent them from going to sleep early.” They also believe that the bill’s author said California will now become the first state to require later start times in response to medical research that shows most teens are sleep deprived because of changes to their biological clocks that prevent them from going to sleep early.
The Prowl asked some students and teachers for their opinions about the new school schedule.
“I don’t like it,” said Maura Henriquez, a third-year at Weston Ranch High School. “I believe that this new schedule is mentally and physically draining. I don’t have time to hangout with friends and family. I leave late and get home late. My sleep schedule is tight due to chores, homework, taking care of siblings, and making dinner.”
This new schedule also affects our student’s athletes.
“I don’t really like it because it’s too long of a day. I come to school around 7 am to practice, go home to shower, change, go back, 8 hours in school, go back home, and overall gets me drained.” So said Sanai Bluford, a basketball player.
This bell schedule has not only affected our students but our teachers as well,
“The bell schedule is horrible. Athletes leave early and don’t have time to be in 3rd and 4th period; students who work have a tight schedule for making time for school, homework, and work. Teachers leave around 5:00 pm, possibly even later. The traffic going back home for the teachers can be a lot,” said Weston Ranch High School Peer Resource teacher Mrs. Chavez.
Mrs. Esenwein, Weston Ranch High School Art teacher, added, “I don’t think it’s good for the students. The students’ schedule collides with the students personal schedules, and many students can’t balance out work, schoolwork, chores, helping parents out, picking up siblings, and sports all at once.”
In Conclusion, many students and teachers at Weston Ranch High School strongly dislike the new bell schedule. They feel like there is no need to get out at 4 pm. Teachers and students feel the need to work out other ideas, such as starting school at 8:30 am and going around 3:30. If we can change the bell schedule to reflect reality and the demands of being a student during a pandemic, students wouldn’t have to come to school feeling under pressure because their time is greatly limited for some students and teachers who have others depending on them outside of school. On paper, it seemed like a good idea. However, long term, starting at 9 am and getting out at 4 pm will harm the students and teachers once you factor in missed class time and possible absences trying to fit in everything in a short window of time. Students and their families may have to sacrifice school to have time to get things done, as opposed to getting dismissed at 2:37 and not having to miss their fourth-period classes. However, in reality, the new schedule may harm students more than it helps them.
Sources contributing to this story:
California mandates later start times for middle and high school students | EdSource