California Schools Prepare For Bell Scheduling Changes Next Year


Cory Wack

Due to the pandemic, advisory, and other changes to our school in recent year, this years bell schedule is one of many to become obsolete.

Cory Wack, Reporter

Beginning next year, almost all California schools will be required to start no earlier than 8:30, and Lucia Mar School District is no exception.

On October 14, 2019, Senate Bill No.328, Chapter 868 was published, requiring urban California schools to change their start times to match the provisions of the text, because we live in a semi-rural area, Andrea Lee, AGHS’ assistant principal, considered that we may not have to change anything.

“We applied [for an exemption] last year sometime when that was available, and we were denied,” Lee said.

In the upcoming school year at Arroyo Grande High School, class will begin at 8:30 am and end at 3:35 pm. The intention of the law is to promote an increase in sleep for teenagers, however, a big concern is how this will affect students who have after-school commitments.

“We are trying to minimize [after school issues] at our school,” Lee said. “We’re trying to see if we can offer more 0 period classes.”

Students who participate in after-school extracurriculars and athletics are most likely going to be affected the most. Philip Reid, the cross country and long-distance track coach at AGHS is one of many coaches who will have to change the way they run practices, events, and meetings.

“Especially in the fall, when it gets dark early, you’re going to have a lot of teams out,” Reid said. “We may have to get creative with lighting and the practice schedule.”

All after-school sports will be affected in some way, the decreased time for practice will cause an increase in the overlap between teams, especially with limited daylight in the winter.

This goes beyond challenges that AGHS will face in terms of scheduling, as it is a statewide change. 

Lawrence Rucker, football and track coach at Nipomo High School since 2002, has a positive outlook on the upcoming season.

“Believe it or not, I think we will accommodate everyone,” Rucker said. “There may be times where we can take advantage of that later start.”

Rucker has many ideas about the new schedule. Using the morning for football meetings and the afternoons for practice, he hopes to limit the time students have to take out of their evenings.

In track season, Rucker is considering implementing a morning practice for students who have jobs in the evening and cannot make an after-school practice.

Along with coaching, Rucker has been campus security at Nipomo since 2015, and is lucky enough to have time for coaching and his job; while he does feel like student-athletes are going to be affected by the change, he also worries for the coaches who have other responsibilities and commitments.

“For teachers that are coaches and have families, [they’re] going to lose something. That’s the sad part about it,” Rucker said. “Those are the ones I feel for.”

With the many changes coming to our school next year, it is important to remember that the effects are out of the control of the staff, and that they are being affected by it as well.

“I think people tend to have challenges with change,” Reid said. “It will be difficult at first, but it will start to feel natural.”