It would be an understatement to say that schools, teachers and students have been under immense stress during COVID-19 — turning on a dime to online learning, experiencing isolation and facing a lack of educational support and personal protective equipment (PPE) have only been a few of the challenges. However, recent research shows that increased adolescent sleep duration has proven to be a silver lining thanks to school closures that occurred at the start of the pandemic. Around the world, school closures and schedule changes in response to COVID-19 have also proven that schools are capable of changing their schedules — for the benefit of public health — which means that delaying school start times is possible.
With apologies to the mamas and the papas, the above headline is what I wrote on Twitter to my fellow Start School Later associates when I heard that California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the historic later school start bill on Sunday, Oct. 13. This bill, SB328, with few exceptions, mandates that high schools will not start before 8:30 a.m. and middle schools will not start before 8 a.m. throughout the state of California.
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