Welcome to Start School Later California!
SB 328 Update
We are sad to report that on Sept. 20, 2018, Governor Brown vetoed SB328, the California bill for healthy school start times.
Thank you for your support on behalf of California’s teens! We will continue to advocate for healthy start times, and look forward to Sen. Portantino introducing this again next year (per his statement, below). Stay tuned for updates!
Senator Anthony Portantino's official statement on the veto:
About Start School Later California
The California chapter of Start School Later is headed by Irena Keller, Ph.D., and Lisa Lewis, M.S.
Dr. Irena Keller is an Adjunct Professor of Psychology and a parent. Having done her PhD dissertation on sleep and development, she has a good grasp of the scientific understanding of sleep and its importance for development and learning. As a parent of both a middle schooler and a high schooler, she has come to the realization that there is a big gap between the scientific knowledge about sleep and the actual public policies and school schedules.
Lisa Lewis is a parent and writer based near Los Angeles. As a parent of a high-schooler and a middle schooler, she has seen firsthand the effects of too-early start times. Her interviews and conversations with sleep researchers and leaders nationwide who have brought about change in their communities have reinforced the importance of school start times and underscored that they can and have been successfully implemented.
The CDC, American Medical Association, American Academy of Pediatrics and others recommend that middle and high schools start at 8:30 a.m. or later, given the significant health impacts to adolescents of sleep deprivation and the research showing that moving the start of the school day is the proven best way to address this. Only 21% of California’s public middle and high schools start school currently meet these guidelines, with some starting as early as 7 a.m.
The Start School Later California chapter was launched by Dr. Keller in 2016 to begin closing the gap between science and public school policies and to improve the health and safety of public school students by advocating for more developmentally appropriate school start times. Lewis joined as co-leader in 2017.
The California chapter supports SB 328, the California state bill introduced in February 2017 that would move start times at all public middle and high schools in the state to 8:30 a.m. or later. This bill, if passed, would go into effect in July 2020.
We also work with chapter leaders in various communities in California to help them promote awareness of the issue and bring about change in their districts.
To contact Irena, Lisa and the California chapter, please fill out the contact form on this page. You can also stay up to date on our activities by liking our page on Facebook.
California now also has six local chapters:
SB328: Hearing before the Senate Education Committee, April 19, 2017
"California schools should start their classes later. The health and learning benefits far outweigh the inconvenience of change." - Mercury News Editorial dated August 8, 2017