New Bell Schedule Delays School Start Time to 8:30 AM

Joey Park, Staff Writer

The implementation of a new bell schedule has pushed back school start times to 8:30 AM, in accordance with a new California law.

California law SB-328 was approved by Governor Newsom on October 13, 2019. According to the bill, “This bill would require the school day for middle schools and high schools, including those operated as charter schools, to begin no earlier than 8:00 a.m. and 8:30 a.m., respectively, by July 1, 2022.”

Prior to the 2021-2022 school year, school start times were 7:00AM for those with a zero period and 8:00 AM for first period. The new bell schedule has extended the end of the day, with classes ending at 3:50 PM on Tuesday-Friday for those with a 7th or 8th period.

“Students are not allowed to come to school too early, everybody has to start from 8:30,” said Stephanie Tang, the attendance clerk at UNI.

The overall structure of the block-period-style bell schedule is three 90 minute classes a day on Tuesday- Friday for most students but four 90 minute classes for those with a seventh or eighth period, which students follow Tuesday-Friday, with students attending all of their classes on Monday. 

These 90 minute classes are advantageous to some students who enjoy the extended time periods for classes.

“I enjoy the extended time I have for some classes, more time is spent on the lesson, and there is no rush,” junior Kalyan Ngo said.

However, the bell schedule also seems to be met with some discomfort amongst students, who prefer having all of their classes in one day rather than following a block schedule.

“We would get more out of 50 minute classes and no block schedule,” senior Omar Khayat said.

The extended length of class periods per day has also seen fatigue in some students. 

“Since the periods are long I sometimes have a hard time staying awake after lunch,” junior Joshua Chen said.

Many students express the advantages of the new bell schedule and cite its effectiveness, with students agreeing that though the periods are long, the breaks in between every class make the new schedule worthwhile.