Carmel Unified School District exempt from state law, will not start later

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Next year, California school districts will implement later start times for high schools and colleges, under a new state law intended to help children sleep better. Carmel Unified School District will not be part of it. Senate Bill 328, passed in 2019, states that middle schools cannot start before 8 a.m. and high schools cannot start before 8:30 a.m. Middle and high schools in the Carmel Unified School District start at 7:45 a.m. Rural school districts , such as CUSD, are exempt from this new duty. A school district is designated as rural if: (1) The school district or charter school is located in a county with a total population of 70,000 or less. (2) The school district receives assistance from the federal E-rate universal service program, which provides discounts for telecommunications services. (3) The school district or charter school is eligible to receive grants under the Federal Small Rural School Success Program. According to Superintendent Ted Knight, CUSD is designated as rural under the Universal Service E-rate program. He also points out that the districts extend into rural Monterey County, including Big Sur and Cachagua, both about 40 minutes away. “We know the science is sound. We know that if we all get more sleep, we’re all going to be healthy. Unfortunately, these tradeoffs are pretty serious and mostly for a lot of our marginalized populations. For many places, if you change departure times, you need to add transportation, i.e. more buses, more drivers, or you need to swap out elementary and later departure times,” Knight said. “I believe research on implications on late start times is still in its infancy. I believe we are still the only state in the union to adopt this. There are other districts that have tried this. The district where I just came from, we did this study a few years ago. We have found that… if children can sleep more, they will be healthier. But logistically, it was very hard to figure out… Do we want to move to later start times if it only works for some students and not all? According to some parents, the push for later start times predates the new law and has been a constant concern at school board meetings. “If there were no studies, I would just say, ‘You have to get up. That’s what I did when I was a kid, and now you have to do it and that’s fine'”, Lovina Worick, a mother of three, says. “But when the studies came out, it completely changed my perspective, and I think their sleep has to come first, especially given the mental health issues we’re going through…locally and as a country. That should be number one The discussion of later start times in schools dates back more than a decade, with many advocates citing adolescent sleep deprivation as a public health concern. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, sleep deprivation in adolescents can lead to lower academic achievement and an increased risk of drug and alcohol use, as well as the development of mood disorders like clinical depression. . Carmel Unified School District said it would send out a survey to parents and review a possible schedule change in the future.

Next year, California school districts will implement later start times for high schools and colleges, under a new state law intended to help children sleep better. Carmel Unified School District will not be part of it.

Senate Bill 328, passed in 2019, says middle schools can’t start before 8 a.m. and high schools can’t start before 8:30 a.m. Middle and high schools in the Carmel Unified School District start at 7:45 a.m.

Rural school districts, like CUSD, are exempt from this new law.

A school district is designated as rural if: (1) The school district or charter school is located in a county with a total population of 70,000 or less. (2) The school district receives assistance from the federal E-rate universal service program, which provides discounts for telecommunications services. (3) The school district or charter school is eligible to receive grants under the Federal Small Rural School Success Program.

According to Superintendent Ted Knight, CUSD is designated as rural under the Universal Service E-rate program. He also points out that the districts extend into rural Monterey County, including Big Sur and Cachagua, both about 40 minutes away.

“We know the science is sound. We know that if we all get more sleep, we’re all going to be healthy. Unfortunately, these tradeoffs are pretty serious and mostly for a lot of our marginalized populations. For many places, if you change departure times, you have to add transportation, i.e. more buses, more drivers, or you have to swap elementary and later departure times,” Knight said.

“I believe the research into the implications on late start times is still in its early stages. I believe we are still the only state in the union to adopt this. There are other districts that have tried this. The district where I just came from, we did this study a couple of years ago, we found that…if kids can sleep more, they’ll be healthier, but logistically , it was very difficult to understand… Do we want to move to later start times if it only works for some students and not all?

According to some parents, the push for later start times predates the new law and has been a constant concern at school board meetings.

“If there were no studies, I would just say, ‘You have to get up. That’s what I did when I was a kid, and now you have to do it and that’s fine'”, Lovina Worick, a mother of three, says. “But when the studies came out, it completely changed my perspective, and I think their sleep has to come first, especially given the mental health issues we’re going through…locally and as a country. That should be number one . “

The discussion of later start times in schools dates back more than a decade, with many advocates citing adolescent sleep deprivation as a public health issue.

According to American Academy of Pediatricssleep deprivation in adolescents can lead to lower academic achievement and an increased risk of drug and alcohol use, as well as the development of mood disorders such as clinical depression.

Carmel Unified School District said it would send out a survey to parents and review a possible schedule change in the future.

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