California Pushes Back School Start Time: How Will This Affect Lincoln?

Governor Gavin Newsom, California’s 40th governor, signed a proposal on October 13, 2019, to push back school start times. Under the new law, which is to take place at the beginning of the school year in 2022 or 2023, middle schools will begin classes at 8 A.M. or later, and high school will begin class no earlier than 8:30 A.M. The law, however, will not affect some schools in rural districts or optional early classes, known as zero periods.

Two Lincoln students falling asleep in class.

Over the past week, Lincoln Lion Tales reached out to the Public Information Officer Lili Smith for more information regarding this topic. “I think this will give us a great opportunity to align our bell schedule with our classes,” Ms. Smith, San Jose Unified’s Public Information Officer says, “But most importantly, we can do what’s best for our students. We are thinking of some ideas for what we can potentially do, such as opening the media centers early or perhaps offering breakfast for students who may skip eating breakfast at home.” 

As of now, though, Lincoln is concerned about how this law may affect after school sports and activities, as it would result in the school ending later. Mr. Hewitson, Lincoln’s principal, says that this may make time management a little more difficult for students, especially those who attend after school activities, whether it’s at Lincoln or not.

“The issue of start times and how much sleep a teenager is receiving on a school day are legitimate issues,” Mr. Hewitson, Lincoln’s principal says, “But I believe, in general, that it’s best to leave decisions like this to the local community. In Lincoln and across San Jose Unified, very few decisions are made without input from the community.” As of now, Lincoln students will still have to attend school at 7:00 A.M. until 2022, when the law is said to go into action.