WATSONVILLE—Next year, older students statewide will start school later in the morning thanks to a law that takes effect this year.
Senate Bill 328, authored by Sen. Anthony Portantino, requires middle schools and high schools to begin no earlier than 8am and 8:30am, respectively. Signed into law in 2019, it takes effect July 1.
In writing the law, Portantino said that he was “responding to the overwhelming science behind later school start times” that followed decades of research.
The law was the first of its kind in the U.S.
Pajaro Valley Unified School District Superintendent Michelle Rodriguez says that the district has been working with parents to keep them apprised of the upcoming changes to the schedule.
PVUSD middle schools will begin at 8:45am, while high schools start at 8:30am.
The district is still hammering out the changes to the bus system, which transports some 6,000 students every day, she says. Information will be available three weeks before classes start on Aug. 15.
“We’re trying to get that for parents because we know that’s a shift for them and for a significant number of families,” Rodriguez said.