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Healthy Start Time

Dear Muirlands Middle School and La Jolla High School Communities:

We are excited to share some fantastic news!

As most of you are aware, numerous studies have been conducted by leading medical, psychiatric and scientific institutions including, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention[1], the American Medical Association[2], and the American Academy of Pediatrics[3] that have well-documented the significant effects that sleep deprivation has on the health, academic abilities and overall well-being of adolescents. The research concluded, without exception, that in order to remedy this chronic health problem and to allow for student’s natural circadian rhythms (internal biological clocks) to function properly, middle and high schools should start at 8:30 a.m. or later. 

Having a healthy start time has been shown to increase attendance, test scores and graduation rates. In addition, healthy start times lead to decreased rates of emotional and behavioral problems, including anxiety and depression, along with corresponding increases in social, academic and athletic performance.

So it is with great pleasure that we announce that starting in the 2019-2020 school year both Muirlands Middle and La Jolla High Schools will move to a Healthy Start time of 8:35am with an end time of 3:15 pm.

We strongly believe that this will have a substantial positive impact on all aspects of our students’ lives. The switch to Healthy Start time will be effective as of August 29, 2019.  Over the next several months our staff (administrative, academic and athletic) will be working on ensuring that this transition will be a seamless one for our students and community.  We know that major changes require adjustments on all our parts, so we hope over the next five (5) months everyone will have enough time to make proper preparations at home to ensure that the introduction of Healthy Start goes smoothly.

A tentative (arrival and departure times subject to change) schedule is as follows:

Bus Arrival Time:8:20am
Bell Start Time:8:35am
Bell End Time:3:15pm
Bus Departure Time:3:35pm

We understand that you may have questions regarding transportation (buses), academics (tutoring) or athletics (practice/games), please know we are diligently working out all the details and will provide information once finalized. A Healthy Start FAQ will be added to both schools websites.

Nothing is more important than the health and welfare of our student body and we are confident that introducing a Healthy Start will have a positive impact on all.

Finally, we would like to extend our heartfelt thank you to the Muirlands and La Jolla High community, staff and students who have all worked so diligently and tirelessly to ensure that we can provide the most effective and healthy learning environment for our students.


Charles Podhorsky Geof Martin
La Jolla High SchoolMuirlands Middle School

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[1] https://www.cdc.gov/features/school-start-times/index.html

[2] https://www.ama-assn.org/press-center/press-releases/ama-supports-delayed-school-start-times-improve-adolescent-wellness

[3] https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/Pages/Let-Them-Sleep-AAP-Recommends-Delaying-Start-Times-of-Middle-and-High-Schools-to-Combat-Teen-Sleep-Deprivation.aspx