Weekly roundup: Later start times for middle and high school students, student artwork at the Sawdust Festival, and more

Secondary students may be able to set their alarms a little later when school starts back up.


Concerned over whether adolescents were getting enough sleep, California lawmakers passed legislation in 2019 to push start times back for middle and high schoolers. The law known as SB 328, which was signed by Gov. Newsom, officially took effect this week.

From now on, high schools across the state won’t be allowed to start before 8:30 a.m., and middle school classes can’t begin before 8 a.m.

Proponents of the change say adolescents are predisposed to staying up later due to the delayed release of the sleep hormone melatonin. Many believe the later start times will produce positive physical and mental health outcomes while benefiting academic performance.

And here are some of the other education stories we’re tracking this week:

  • Students at Laguna Beach High School once again have a dedicated space to showcase their artwork at the Sawdust Art Festival, which is now in its 56th year.
  • On the final day of June, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed off on a bundle of bills that together make up California’s $308 billion budget for the fiscal year that started July 1. The OCDE Newsroom has a few key takeaways from the state’s 2022-23 spending plan for public schools.
  • A dual language immersion program at DeMille Elementary School in the Westminster School District continues to thrive, with hundreds of students learning Vietnamese and English in multiple class subjects. In June, the program promoted its first cohort of students to middle school.
  • Eleven students from Orange County were recognized for their historical reports, exhibits and websites at the National History Day National Contest. A total of seven projects from California earned medals, and three were from Orange County.
  • What are community schools, and why is California betting big that they’ll be a boon for public education? A story in LAist breaks it down.
  • County Superintendent Al Mijares and the incumbents on the OC Board of Education have all officially earned victories in the June election, according to recently certified results from the Orange County Registrar of Voters. 
  • The OC Board of Education, joined by a national group that has opposed vaccine mandates, filed a new legal challenge on Wednesday as part of an ongoing effort to contest Gov. Gavin Newsom’s state of emergency, the Orange County Register reported.
  • Should California’s high schools prepare students for college or careers? With $500 million in state funding, the new Golden State Pathways Program aims to do both.

This is the part where we encourage you to keep up with local education news stories by bookmarking the OCDE Newsroomsubscribing for emailed updates and following us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.