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New start times for some Coachella Valley schools

A new California law has pushed back the start times for some schools this year. One local school district already implemented the change last year, and another school district is exempt.

Senate Bill Number 328 was signed by Governor Gavin Newsom in 2019 and went into effect on July 1, 2022. The bill requires middle schools and high schools, including charter schools to start no earlier than 8:00 am and 8:30 am.

“Research has shown that students, older students, tend to do better when they start later in the day," explained Palm Springs Unified School District's (PSUSD) Director of Secondary Curriculum Instruction Dr. Deanna Keuilian. "So as a result the state of California passed this legislation”

For PSUSD, the bells are going to be ringing later this year for all of its middle and high school campuses. The new start times for both will be at 8:45 am.

Desert Sands Unified School District (DSUSD) began implementing the early start times during the 2021-2022 school year.

"As we see these late starts happening across the valley this isn’t an opportunity for students to stay up an hour later at night, but in fact get rest so they are ready to learn," said DSUSD's Senior Director of Secondary Curriculum Instruction and Assessment David Gustafson.

School start times are going to remain the same across all DSUSD schools.

There is an exemption to the law for rural school districts like the Coachella Valley Unified School District (CVUSD).

It will not be pushing back its start times.

CVUSD's Community Engagement Manager Lisette Santiago explained that rural districts like theirs don't have the resources or time available to offer students a later start time.

“We just wouldn’t have enough buses, not enough bus drivers, to be able to accommodate that. That's why the state offers exceptions for us. We do have to travel really long distances to get our students from point A to point B," explained Santiago.

For more information on your child's school start times, you are advised to contact your child's home school.

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Crystal Jimenez

Crystal Jimenez is a news reporter who joined the KESQ News Channel 3 team in June 2021. Learn more about Crystal here.

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