The Water Cooler – New Bill Could Push School Start Times To 8:30 A.M. – Good Or Bad?

September 12, 2018 12:00 pm · 57 comments

The “Water Cooler” is a feature on where we ask you a question or provide a topic, and you talk about it.

The “Water Cooler” will be up Monday-Friday in the noon hour.

A new bill, which might soon be signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, would push middle and high school school start times to 8:30 a.m. (they couldn’t start before 8:30 a.m.)

QUESTION: Are you be in favor of schools not being able to start class before 8:30 a.m., or are you against it?

Talk about it….

Concord resident September 12, 2018 at 12:05 PM

I am not a parent (yet) but wondering, what time do the middle and high schools in our area start right now? Traffic is horrendous and I wonder if this would make things better or worse…

Pyrrhus September 12, 2018 at 1:27 PM

I’ll stand corrected but 8:10AM is what I remember being the start time and 7AM for those with a zero period. So it is only really an extra 20 minutes for most students and parents.

Also, by middle school, and more so high school, your kid should be able to get his/her own butt to school. I took public transportation for middle school and walked a mile one way to get to high school before I could drive. Stop helicoptering over your children and teach them to be self-sufficient. Nothing has changed from then to now except we find out about it because of the 24/7 news cycle with the internet.

JazzMan September 12, 2018 at 1:52 PM

My wife’s school starts at 8:20, so 10 min is no big deal. They is a 0 period at 7:30, but totally optional.

The Mamba September 12, 2018 at 12:07 PM

My immediate thought is that while it would be better for kids getting more sleep, it would continue to make life more difficult for working parents trying to get to work after dropping kids off and cost us thousands of dollars. If he wants to make a real difference, he should scrap the train to nowhere and make safe, affordable child care a reality.

Parent September 12, 2018 at 12:11 PM

I heard they wanted to do this so kids could get more sleep. But the parents who take the kids will probably need to go to work at the same time or will end up working later. I think this will backfire. This would just mean that students would get out of school later and stay up later for sports, after school activities and homework.

Silva September 12, 2018 at 12:20 PM

That’s early enough!

Silva September 13, 2018 at 7:42 AM

When when dinosaurs roamed around I was in school Clayton Road didn’t have sidewalks, and none of us had transportation except for a few with their own cars and the kids in Clayton. First period started at 7:00, and it came way too early. 30 years later my kid managed get himself to school in West Oakland, along with most other kids. Is everyone going to school on the other side of town or in another city now?

S September 12, 2018 at 12:20 PM

I’ve had a lot of time working at high schools with various starting times. Regardless of data; I personally have not seen any difference in student performance as a whole. So this possible law is another wasted piece of legislation. My opinion only.

martinezmike September 12, 2018 at 12:22 PM

I think students should get to pick their own time for starting. Diversity in school start times is very important.

Fred September 12, 2018 at 12:23 PM

It should really be up to the school districts as to what works best for them.

The Other 99% September 12, 2018 at 12:30 PM

Is he going to sign a Bill that lets me be 30 minutes late to work everyday too…?

Cellophane September 12, 2018 at 12:31 PM

For parents who take their children to school on the way to work, the later start times might be a big problem.

For kids who walk to school, better daylight might help when crossing streets.

As I understand this bill, its purpose is to let kids start later so they can stay up later at night and still get plenty of rest.

I’m not for the government telling anyone what to do when it comes to raising kids.

Each community should be a to decide when schools start.

The government needs to fix our roads.

Julie Bollenbach September 12, 2018 at 12:40 PM

Totally Against. Doesn’t the Legislature & Gov. Brown have better things to do than to try & tell school districts what time they should start school? There are kids who play sports, have jobs, have to babysit family members. Parents have to work so dropping their kids off later is not an option. I could go on & on, but seriously, leave it alone. Go work on something that matters, like how to feed the children or getting the homeless off the street.

Sign from Above September 14, 2018 at 7:10 AM

Julie Bollenbach

I agree. But this is California. Our politicians spend their time pushing legislation through that is a total waste of time (ie. allowing bars to stay open longer), while ignoring REAL issues!

Jojo Potato September 12, 2018 at 12:45 PM

I read the paper this is based on and it tries to make the point that teens are not getting enough sleep. OK, that’s probably true. And the reasons they give include things parents can control which basically involves getting them to bed on time. These things include after school activities, jobs, homework, and electronic entertainment. Then the paper concludes that the way to fix things is to start school later. NO. The way to fix things is to take away the phone and put the little dears to bed. But maybe mommy and daddy are so addicted to their phones that they can’t deal with reality. Bow down to the mighty Google!

Anonymous September 12, 2018 at 12:59 PM

Seriously!!!! That’s ridiculous. If the kids aren’t getting enough sleep, then put the kids to bed earlier. If the kids are throwing a fit, to dang bad.My god, When did the kids start running the show. I’m a single parent and am supposed to at work out in Richmond by 8 am. How is that going to happen, if they change the schedule again? How is that going to affect other parents that have to travel even farther to their jobs. Good god, we all survived going to school earlier and so did our parents and grandparents. Toughen up people!!

Bishop Estates September 12, 2018 at 2:25 PM

Totally agree!!

Stew September 12, 2018 at 11:32 PM

Why not just start school at 5AM, since your work schedule should be your communities priority.

Rollo Tomasi September 12, 2018 at 1:15 PM

A solution in search of a problem.

Dorothy September 12, 2018 at 1:21 PM

No, just no…

RunnerDope September 12, 2018 at 1:27 PM

The report was clear that just putting kids to bed earlier doesn’t work. They don’t get the same quality of sleep they would by going to bed later and getting up later, due to their circadian rhythms.

AnonZ September 13, 2018 at 5:35 AM

Um, yeah, it becomes routine when you do it enough!

ACB128 September 12, 2018 at 1:45 PM

When I was in high school (almost 16 years ago) I had what I think was called A period (from what I remember..) at 7:30 because I was on the track and cross country team. We had to get out of school earlier to go to meets. 8:30 seems a little late to me but I don’t know. I agree kids need more sleep but I am also concerned about the parents that have to be at work at 8, this seems rather inconvenient.

-Sorry if I am not making much sense very tired!-

itsme September 12, 2018 at 1:48 PM

For it. Sleep patterns change over a lifetime and a later start is indicated for the teen years.

WC Resident September 12, 2018 at 1:54 PM

I sure wish Claycord had a thumbs-up button for Jojo Potato’s comment.

Putting away the phones and all electronic devices is key. They activate brains in undesirable ways. See for example.

Something else is that kids, teens, and younger adults do not have the mental maturity to make the connection between staying up late and that they are tired and grumpy the following day. Historically, that aspect of mental development seemed to click in around age 25. These days with people glued to their phones 24×7 it’s possible they will never achieve maturity.

Jojo Potato September 12, 2018 at 4:02 PM

Thanks WC. The other issue which I didn’t bring up is the “A” period classes. Like my grandboy who has been in the Jazz band at WCI and now at Las Lomas. It starts a period before regular classes. That’s the only way that the music program can fit this in. It’s fantastic and gives these kids a very unusual opportunity to express themselves. Would this law wipe it out? That would be a real loss.

And BTW the full article mentioned Palo Alto High as having late starting classes. The same Palo Alto that has had so many suicides? Not a model that we need to follow.

JazzMan September 12, 2018 at 1:57 PM

Stop binging Netflix, et. al. or playing mindless video games, and get a decent nights sleep would help. I was at school by 7am almost every day, and stayed til around 5 2-3 days/week. And got good grades, never complained (any more than most teens).

Donk September 12, 2018 at 1:57 PM

Why do they feel the need to change things that have worked fine for years. Im sure there is a sinister reasoning behind it and no their reason is not to give kids more sleep but most likely to f with parents who already have a system in place that works. My solution is to never have a kid. Dogs are less stress.

Stew September 12, 2018 at 11:35 PM

School has been starting increasingly early.

anon September 12, 2018 at 2:09 PM

Teens don’t get enough sleep because they are texting and playing games on their cell phones all night long. Just like they do at school.

Jack's Fan September 12, 2018 at 2:37 PM

The only bill which will help students get more sleep is one that bans homework, or severely limits the amount which can be assigned.

My wife is a teacher and regularly hears students as young as 14 saying they were up until 2 or 3 AM to finish homework assignments. The workload being put on these kids is atrocious. Add in sports, social clubs, chores, jobs, social media and video game addiction, it’s no wonder why these kids are exhausted all the time.

Making the parents mornings and commute times more stressful isn’t going to help anything.

Mimi (original) September 12, 2018 at 9:46 PM

Oh man, Jack’s Fans! Too true!! My progeny is out of HS 7 yrs, but I wish the cell phone manufacturers’ had enabled phone time restrictions even BeFor smartPhones were brought into the mix!! I tried taking their phones away but, as children of the 90’s the phones were mysteriously “missing” when bedtime rolled around so bring able to confiscate them wasn’t an option. The progeny simply stonewalled means no threats worked.

BoboHead September 12, 2018 at 2:41 PM

Love it! School starts too early. For those parents who complain about getting to work – if your work doesn’t allow you to adjust your schedule to get your kids to school – you gotta go find another job or have a serious talk with your HR department. Kids come first and your company has to know and respect that.

DWAKE September 12, 2018 at 6:54 PM

Seriously? Not everyone has a 9-5 office job.

ethosian September 12, 2018 at 4:32 PM

I’m not saying this would NEVER happen in a more conservative state/region, but is it really any shock that liberal CA politicians would spend time/resources on something so ridiculous as this? Leave it to liberals to think that government is the solution to the “problem” of kids not getting enough sleep.

In the mind of a do-gooder authoritarian that is governed by emotion rather than logic, “they” the government are giving kids an extra 30-minutes of sleep, but naturally they give zero consideration to the fact it is up to the PARENTS to make those decisions, and they also ignore impacts such as those same parents who already juggle getting kids to school and themselves to work.

Currently we’re on track for early retirement in 8 years and that’s when we will be moving out of CA…but it’s lunacy like this that makes us want to leave sooner.

Tsa September 12, 2018 at 6:55 PM

Well said… This nanny state comes up with the most illogical and ludicrous reasons for laws, procedures and policies. Absolute idiocracy!
We are retired and out of here next year!

The Fearless Spectator September 12, 2018 at 5:00 PM

High school kids have never gotten enough sleep, and they never will. Remember? Of course you do, those were great years!

First rock concert, first kiss, first car, first………better stop there.

ZZ September 12, 2018 at 5:00 PM

How stupid…

Kitty Kiss September 12, 2018 at 5:14 PM

School started at 9:00 am for me back in the day, in a different state of course. A very red, very conservative state. I guess they are more progressive than I realized.

WC Citizen September 12, 2018 at 5:25 PM

In the 1980’s, before iPhones, computers and the internet WCI started well after 8am. I don’t recall exact times but it was 8:30-9:00ish…this isn’t a recent liberal conspiracy or a failure of parents to set rules about bedtime. This is an attempt to modify school hours to improve student performance based on studies related to sleeping patterns of children of middle school/high school age. And yes, the addition of iPhones and constant connectivity only add to this problem.

Frankly I don’t think it is necessary to mandate a statewide rule as to when school should start but I also don’t immediately think of bad parents or political parties either.

Atticus Thraxx September 12, 2018 at 5:44 PM

I started to type something and realized I don’t care. Not even a little bit.

Lambie September 12, 2018 at 6:17 PM

A later start time would be great for me 🙂 My commute would be so much faster. I always look forward to the days when school is closed.

Jess September 12, 2018 at 7:07 PM

I’m not sure how this will work with schedules of parents who need to be a work at a certain time. But from my experience, my high school started at 7:20am. I had an A period before 1st period because that was the only time that particular class was scheduled. It was TORTURE. So yes, as someone who experienced waking up before the crack of dawn, I would gladly allow today’s children to sleep just an hour longer. The torture of school is bad enough!
As for parents who have jobs, I hope they’ll be able to work it out with their bosses. I’m not sure how parents do it honestly. No wonder they’re always frantic and tired.

Pffffff September 12, 2018 at 7:09 PM

Move from the Bay to Reno,Nv this Summer. Elementary School Starts at 9:30 and ends at 3:30 and it’s Fantastic!

Publius September 12, 2018 at 7:18 PM

I can remember school starting times set back to 9:00 am during the Carter years when he had screwed up our oil supplies. There was no difference except our after school events were a problem. I practiced freshman basketball from 6:00 – 8:00 pm got home at 9:00.

Today’s students aren’t going to do anything different except they will stay on their video games and iphones longer at nights.

Another dumb idea from Sacramento

long time resident September 12, 2018 at 9:28 PM

Great idea! 7:30 is too early. This is high school. Why do parents need to get their kids to school? Back in the day if you lived too far to walk you tool the bus. We didn’t need mommy to drive us school.

Citizen September 12, 2018 at 9:57 PM

Wow. I think that is a terrible idea for the working parents. How are they going to coordinate their work schedules with their kids later school schedules? I think this will cause a lot of problems.

Stew September 12, 2018 at 11:26 PM

School starts too early. 9-5 jobs are less and less these days too. I don’t have one. Neither does my wife. My daughter could use more sleep, and it’s not because she’s up too late. All for it. My. Diablo elementary starts earlier than most other schools in the district. Explain that.

Stew September 12, 2018 at 11:55 PM

Yes, I realize this legislation is abou middle and high school start times not elementary.

WC Resident September 13, 2018 at 12:16 AM

@Jack’s Fan – The only times I was up until 2 or 3 AM doing homework was because I goofed off all day after school and/or put off a class project until the day they were due.

Homework for most classes was rarely a surprise as the teacher would list out what was needed, and when, weeks, sometimes months, in advance.

BURNBABYBURN September 13, 2018 at 4:57 AM

Perhaps cali should pass a law in the future to not allow any business to start operations before 8:30 am so that these precious children can continue to get the sleep that they need. God forbid you should rely on your on common sense to get to bed at a decent time. Let’s continue to make the government responsible for everything. Take all of our money and just let us keep only what the government decides that we need. Hey, it worked great for Russia and Cuba. 8 years obama has turned this country into one giant douce bag. So long story short, I’m fine with new start times.

AnonZ September 13, 2018 at 5:28 AM

Absolutely not! First, when the kid enters the “real world”, his/her employer won’t give one fig if the s/he is tired or got enough sleep.

Second, it makes it super difficult for parents that have to work much earlier. My sis works at a school in Vacaville; she has to be at work before her girls have to be at school. WTF?

Lastly, take your kids electronics away at night and tell them to go to sleep. If they are up until Midnight fooling around, of course, they’ll be tired in the morning. Go to bed at 9pm instead!!

ConcordMike September 13, 2018 at 9:35 AM

Leave it up to the school districts. We’ve got more important issues right now to worry about.

Anonymous teen September 13, 2018 at 8:04 PM

Lmao idk why everybody getting mad at the kids in the comments… we’re not the ones coming up w these bills. None of us are complaining. Why don’t you guys worry about YOUR lives and YOUR careers instead of trying to say how we should be raised.

Randy September 14, 2018 at 9:22 AM

Government intervenes when people people are to stupid to take care of it themselves.

Fred P. September 14, 2018 at 11:25 AM

Guess that says something about the Democrats who continually push to expand govt social programs.

Thx for proving my point.

Too Stupid September 14, 2018 at 11:55 AM

The government should intervene when people are too stupid to understand the difference between too and to.

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