Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a law in 2019 that requires public high schools to start no earlier than 8:30 a.m., except for zero period classes. This law goes into effect in the 2022-2023 school year. Naturally, this means that the CVHS daily schedule will be pushed back to accommodate this new law. This could mean later release times, later lunch periods, shortening of breaks and/or classes.
A committee of students, staff, and parents has been created in order to try and listen and meet the needs of everyone impacted by this new change. The committee surveyed students, staff, and parents’ opinions about how they wanted to see next year’s schedule play out. These responses are being used to draft various new schedules.
“Our goal in these meetings has been to hear feedback from the community about how shifting our bell schedules to an 8:30 or later start time will affect them, and seek recommendations on how to make the adjustment work best,” said committee leader and Assistant Principal Kevin Baker.
“Everyone has an opinion on what a new schedule should look like, and all opinions, while valid, are not possible,” said scheduling committee member and teacher Thomas Maloney.
The committee currently has many different restraints, like the government mandated amount of time that needs to be spent in school, or working with parent and guardian work schedules so students can be dropped off and picked up at reasonable times. With this schedule impacting so many people, there are a lot of opinions and needs that need to be met to keep people as satisfied as possible.
An adjustment period is expected, as with any new schedule, but this does not mean committee members are not confident in things succeeding and students benefitting from these new changes.
“Each schedule has its pros and cons and it takes time to adjust to a new schedule, but once you do, it runs smoothly,” said science teacher Kathleen Veety-Martin.
The schedule changes are prompted by different studies showing that students may benefit from later starts to the day. By pushing the day back later, students are given a chance to sleep in later, giving them a fuller night of sleep, or get work done in the morning, giving them more time to complete their work to their highest abilities.
“We aren’t worried about the new schedules affecting teaching and learning because we can accomplish the same academic goals with a variety of scheduling options. The whole intent behind the law is for students to get more sleep, so they can be more focused during the school day,” said Baker.
Currently many options exist for what can be done with next year’s school year, too many to release at this time, because more work needs to be done to try and finalize how the schedule will look. The committee will be meeting again before any public announcements can be made about next year.
“Our recommendations will then be shared with the (staff) Leadership Council, and later with the teachers’ union. After all these groups share their feedback, we will be able to publicize expected schedules,” said Baker.