The clock in Mr.Hart’s classroom striking 3:35 (Photo: Jon Donohue, The Puma Prensa)
by Jon Donohue, assitant editor
Following passage of Senate Bill 328, Maria Carrillo High School pushed school start times back to 8:30 and end times to 3:35 for the 2021-2022 school year, with the intention that students would get more sleep. The belief of the legislative council that created the bill was that teenagers naturally stay up and get up later. If the school start times were later, they thought that students would be more active at school, and, in turn, get better grades. However, students are experiencing significant impacts from the new changes, making their lives sometimes more difficult.
Junior Erik Dahlhaus shared that “[the new changes] do not solve the problem of having little sleep. Starting later means that you go to sleep 30 minutes later at night, and get up 30 minutes later.” The mandates state it will help students get more sleep, but with large homework loads and extracurriculars, it is hard to accomplish that, Dahlhaus said.
When asked about whether she thinks she has gotten more sleep due to the schedule, Crystal Romero, junior, reported having similar problems. “If anything, I am more tired. I get home at a later time and still have a lot of homework to do. With traffic, I get home at 4:00, and I live nearby,” said Romero. On top of that, she said, being a part of sports and extracurricular activities is really hard to manage. “It is hard to do AP classes with sports and being the president of a club, and then getting home at a later time screws up everything,” added Romero.
Students aren’t the only ones being affected either. Erik Zumwalt, physics teacher, thought similarly to Romero and Dahlhaus. “My wife is a teacher as well, and she starts at 8:00 [instead of 8:30]. I am getting up at the same hour whether or not we start at 8:00 or 8:30,” Zumwalt said.
Furthermore, Romero stated that “if anything, I am more tired. I get home at a later time and still have a lot of homework to do.”
Zumwalt is also feeling the effects of getting home at a later time. “It has negatively impacted my personal life,” said Zumwalt. “I enjoy doing things outside after school, and I am worried about the transition when we fall back an hour for daylight savings. When we are in daylight savings, we have the potential to leave the school when it is dark.”
While the new bell schedule may not be impacting every Carrillo student in a negative way, “it complicates life more than it solves it,” said Dahlhaus.
The state mandate, though, appears here to stay.