SBCUSD announces new start times for next school year

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After carefully considering the impact that new school start times will have on students, families, and employees, the San Bernardino City Unified School District Board of Education selected the class schedule that most closely resembles the current schedule and is overwhelmingly supported by parents.

Elementary School:

Current 8:50 a.m.–3:30 p.m. New 8:50 a.m.–3:30 p.m.

Middle School:

Current 7:40 a.m.–2:11 p.m. New 8 a.m.–2:31 p.m.

High School:

Current 7:30 a.m.–2:35 p.m. New 8:30 a.m.–3:35 p.m. 

The new start and end times will be effective the first day of school for the 2023–2024 school year and are necessary to comply with Senate Bill 328, which requires high schools to begin no earlier than 8:30 a.m. and middle schools no earlier than 8 a.m. SB 328 made California the first state in the U.S. to mandate later start times for teens due to evidence that their natural sleep-wake cycle is different from children and adults, making it harder for them to get a good night’s sleep if school starts too early. 

SBCUSD began studying the impact of later start times for secondary students during the 2018-2019 school year and formed a Late Start Task Force to seek input from students, families, and employees. Families who provided input voiced various concerns, including lack of before and after-school supervision for children and the length of time that younger students would be riding the school bus.

That’s why the Board of Education sought input from hundreds of families, students, and employees for two years before selecting the schedule option that would have the least impact. The option that the Board of Education selected in December 2022 and was also widely supported by families has elementary school students attending class from 8:50 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., as they do now, while middle school students will be in school from 8 a.m. to 2:31 p.m. High school students will attend class from 8:30 a.m. to 3:35 p.m., an hour later than this school year. 

Although there is no impact to elementary school start times, the change to later class times for middle and high school students will cost an estimated $44.1 million dollars in transportation expenses due to additional buses and drivers that will be needed.