The bells will ring later in colleges and high schools

Ceres students will return to class on Wednesday, August 10, but a new state law requires changes to when middle and high school students report for the start of the school day and when the last bell rings.

Senate Bill 328, a law crafted by the state legislature and signed into law by Governor Newsom, prohibits most school districts from starting the school day before 8:30 a.m. for high schools and 8 a.m. for middle schools. . Lawmakers ruled middle and high school started too early in the day for students needing sleep. Critics of the bill say students have a choice to go to bed earlier regardless of the change.

“I really think there are questions about its effectiveness in achieving the goal, but until then, it’s something we have no choice in,” said Beth Jimenez, communications specialist at the Ceres Unified School District. “We have to implement it. So we do it in the least disruptive way possible for our families and our students. »

Due to the correlation between elementary and secondary transport routes and nutrition services, some elementary bell schedules are also affected.

“We’ve reduced our transportation routes to a science in terms of busing high school kids and then returning and picking up younger ones,” Jimenez said. “We don’t have enough bus or bus drivers to transport all the students at the same time. And similarly with child nutrition, our lunch times are a bit off so we can feed nearly 14,000 students.

In the past, Ceres High School students had to report to school at 7:45 a.m. while the last class ended at 2:37 p.m. Now the first bell rings 45 minutes later and they leave campus 45 minutes later.

Central Valley High School will also start its school day at 8:30 a.m. and leave at 3:24 p.m. instead of 2:44 p.m. last school year.

Most elementary schools keep their regular bell schedule, but to juggle bus schedules and nutrition times, Senate Bill 328 also changes some elementary schools’ start dates. For example, Don Pedro Elementary will start its day earlier at 8:10 a.m. instead of 8:45 a.m. These same students will leave school at 2:25 p.m. instead of 3 p.m.

La Rosa Elementary also has a modified school day, starting and ending 10 minutes later (8:30 a.m. and 2:45 p.m. departure)

Walter White Elementary was forced to move his school day 10 minutes earlier. These students will be in class at 8:30 a.m. and will leave at 2:45 p.m.

Westport Elementary in rural Ceres will start 10 minutes earlier (8:30 a.m.) and depart at 2:45 p.m. instead of the 3:25 p.m. exit time last spring.

The rest of the elementary schools (Adkison, Caswell, Carroll Fowler, Hidahl, Lucas, Virginia Parks, Sinclear and Sam Vaughn) remain on the same schedule as last year.

SB 328 provides that rural school districts are exempt from the new school start time. However, the law does not currently provide a definition of a “rural school district,” a fact that was noted in the legislative analysis that accompanied the bill. This rural exemption applies only to school districts, but not to charter schools.

The CUSD held meetings with staff and families to get feedback on the changes and informed parents of the upcoming changes. Reminders will be sent to parents before the start of the school year on August 10.

The school year is starting to get back to normal after the COVID pandemic with full in-person learning with masks not required, Jimenez said.

“Children and staff can wear them. They don’t have to wear them. It is entirely up to them. We’re pretty much back to the way things were. As we have seen, things can change, but this is how we plan to start the year.

Ceres Unified has a host of new administrators filling positions for the 2022-23 school year. They are:

Rogelio Adame, Principal – Cesar Chavez Junior High.

Jessica Artea, Director of Learning – Endeavor Alternative.

Kristi Britton, Assistant Superintendent – ​​Business Services.

Terry Crumpacker, Program Specialist – Special Education.

Yesenia Dominguez, Data Systems Manager – Technology Services.

Casey Giovannoni, Principal – Central Valley High School.

Michelle Madrigal, Vice Principal – Walter White Elementary.

Ismael Maldonado, principal – Caswell Elementary.

Steve Merchant, Principal – Whitmore Charter Schools.

Aneta Mikhael, Director – Special Education.

Alfonso Navarro, Principal – Mae Hensley Junior High.

Maria Nuno, Assistant Director – Infant Nutrition Services.

Zachary Nyquist, Assistant Director – Technology Services.

Dan Pangrazio, Assistant Superintendent – ​​Student Support Services.

Aubrie Smith, Program Specialist – Special Education.

Justin Tate, Associate Principal – Central Valley High School.

Efrain Ulloa, Vice Principal – Adkison Elementary.

Veronica Villa, Vice Principal – Sam Vaughn Elementary.

Kimberly Wood, Vice Principal – Central Valley High School.

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