Lunch before break?

State-mandated 8:30 a.m. school start time for 2022-2023 leads to new bell schedule with 30-minute break first


Sheila Neri

Officials release the 2022-2023 bell schedule via email Thursday with first period starting at 8:30 a.m.

Susie Kim, News Editor

The administration announced the new bell schedule to accommodate Senate Bill 328 for the 2022-2023 school year Thursday via email after school, drawing mixed reactions among students and faculty.  

“I know that we have a lot of very tight stipulations that were given in the first place from the state,” newly appointed principal Craig Weinreich said. “We’re going to have to just follow what the law tells us and take it from there and make adjustments.”

“As was shared in the April 15th letter from [Fullerton Joint Union High School] Superintendent Dr. McLaughlin, all high schools will adjust to start times of 8:30 a.m. in order to meet the new California requirement outlined in Senate Bill 328,” Weinreich wrote in an email sent to students, parents and staff on April 21. “With the guidance of district administration, Sunny Hills administration and staff members have adjusted the bell schedule for the 2022/23 school year that reflects this new start time.”

We’re going to have to just follow what the law tells us and take it from there and make adjustments.”

— principal Craig Weinreich

With an exception to zero period, class begins with a roughly 30-minute delay from past school years at 8:30 a.m., with lunch falling at 11:36 a.m. and break at 2:12 p.m. while the school day starts at 9:30 a.m. for late starts.

Department leaders and program coordinators led discussions for the proposed schedule changes, and staff members voted in favor of this version over another one in February, assistant principal Melissa Stinson wrote in an email interview.

“The bell schedule that we adopted was preferred by more than 50% of the staff that participated in the vote,” Stinson said. 

Lunch break must end before 2 p.m., according to the California Department of Education, causing the nutrition period to occur later.

Spanish teacher Maria Torres views the law as unnecessary, since it will push back sleep schedules.

“[The students] are still going to be just as sleepy as they were before,” Torres said. 

The early lunch will let water polo player sophomore Katelyn Fu finish eating before practice.

“The only concern I have is that people with zero have to wait almost four periods before they have any sort of break,” Fu said. “I think having difficult classes back-to-back without having a break between will be overwhelming.”

Administrators expect minute changes to after school activities like sports even though daylight ends sooner in the fall