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Later School Start Times

introduction

In February 2016, a group of Alameda community members submitted a petition to the Board of Education asking that it consider allowing secondary students to begin their day later. Numerous studies have shown that due to changes in the biological clocks of adolescents, they do best when allowed to go to sleep and wake up later, and numerous medical organizations now recommend that secondary schools start later to account for this shift in the sleep-wake cycle.

 

Over the next two years, staff surveyed the parent/guardians, students, and staff about the viability of later school start times, analyzed the scientific evidence behind the recommendations, and explored how other districts across the country have implemented later school start times. 

 

At the same time, State Senator Anthony Portantino had introduced SB 328, which called for school start times no earlier than 8:30 am for high schools and 8:00 am for middle schools. After failing to win approval by first the Assembly (in 2017), the bill was finally approved by Governor Newsom in October 2019.  

 

SB 328 gives districts three years to implement the change, but AUSD has decided to implement the change next year.  As such, the proposed start times for high schools next year is 8:30 am beginning in the 2020-21 school year. The district expects to announce start times for elementary and middle schools in the early spring.