New California-Mandated Schedule Arrives at DHS

Daniel Aguilera and Erik Damadian

Heading into the 2022-23 school year,  Downey High Students are coming back after 2 very peculiar years, and with a new bell schedule, students have more changes to face. Governor Gavin Newsom has established a new precedent when it comes to legislation that changes the mandated time for school to begin. 


The new mandated start time is no earlier than 8:30, a 40-minute difference from Downey’s past schedules. The logic behind this shift was to allow teenagers to get more sleep, as researchers have found that teens should get 10+ hours of shut-eye and that teenagers in the past two decades have progressively gotten less sleep, according to Katherine Keys, a public health researcher from Columbia University. These shifts in sleeping patterns have been widely attributed to social media and electronic use. 


The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is focused on sleep deprivation in adolescents, which is studied to be a dangerous increase in mental and physical health issues. About 30% of high school students, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), actually receive the recommended eight hours of sleep each night. Since the change is new, these effects can have varying effects and opinions among the student body.


Students are adjusting to changes in their lives inside and outside of school as a result of the new schedule changes. Varsity tennis player, Kim Perez Lopez, 12, explains how she manages her time between school and extracurricular activities with the new schedule change. “[The bell schedule change] has helped me get more sleep into my night, and also in the morning I can come into class and ask questions to get better scores on my exams” Lopez stated, “but it also has impacted me in a negative way because I’m in sports, so we leave later and I’m more tired.” 


Annaleise Caballero, 12, is also involved in extracurricular activities such as Folklorico Group and Tending TA’s Club. With the new mandate in action, Caballero has had to adjust her daily schedule to what works best for her and her activities. “The bell schedule has had many positive effects on my life such as helping me improve my attendance. The 8:30 start time has given me more time to prepare for school without rushing.” Caballero explained. “. . .  some of my after-school activities have been pushed to the same weekdays which were once empty. So it definitely has made my schedule more compact.”


Everyone experiences these changes differently, but with time, the data will show the true effects and implications of the bell schedule. For the time being, adjustments and changes are necessary for any type of progression, regardless of opinion on the change.