New schedule is problematic

Kira Sidhu, Staff Writer

Next year’s schedule has been released, and Cal High has definitely made changes, many of which will make next year’s scheduling complicated and more difficult for everyone—all a consequence of a new state law.

As most Cal students now know, A period (or B period in the new schedule) in the morning is to be removed and put at the end of the day next year as a result of Senate Bill 328, which was signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Oct. 13, 2019 and  restricts instructional minute classes before 8:30 a.m. as part of a health initiative.

The law shows an effort to look after the health of students by supposedly delaying the start of school so they can sleep longer. There is no doubt that a large number of high schoolers struggle with sleep deprivation, which has many negative short and long term effects. In fact, according to a national CDC study, about 73 percent  of high schoolers don’t sleep enough on school nights.

Although it means well, the law’s real life implications and logistics are far more messy than intended. Additionally, it hasn’t been proven that the law will be effective in providing  students with more sleep.

The school day now starts at 8:30 a.m. for all students, and ends at 2:35 p.m. for everyone not taking B period. Students taking the extra class will end their school day at 3:41 p.m.

This decision will become a difficult reality for those who want to take seven classes but also have extracurricular activities scheduled right after school. 

Additionally, if school ends later for everyone choosing to take seven classes, they will simply end up delaying after-school activities. Many students will end up finishing schoolwork at an even later time than they do now.  Although sleep deprivation is a real issue for many teens, there’s no guarantee this schedule change will allow students to sleep more. 

For student athletes concerned about the schedule change, it has been decided that athletics won’t start before 4 p.m. This won’t resolve issues for anyone who plays a sport outside of school. 

Other after-school activities also won’t be able to be held right after a six-period school day because some members might be taking B period. 

I know firsthand that the ability to choose when to squeeze that extra class into a schedule is very liberating for many students that are trying their best to make the most of their time. 

While having B period at the end of the day may be optimal for a select set of students, it doesn’t work for everyone and deeply disrupts the schedules of those who have pre-planned extracurriculars for next year.