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School Healthy Start Time for 2020-21


Dear San Diego Unified Family,


This is a reminder that San Diego Unified is implementing Healthy Start Times at all high schools in the upcoming 2020-21 academic year. High School start times will vary from 8:35 to 8:45 a.m. As a result of this shift, some middle and elementary schools will also be affected next year.


Beginning this fall, University City High School will start at 8:45 AM.  School ending time will likely be somewhere around 3:35 PM to 3:40 PM.


Why the move to later start times for high schools? On Feb. 12, 2019, the Board of Education approved a resolution to implement Healthy Start Times based on scientific research on teens and sleep. Conclusive evidence shows that later start times are linked to increased student attendance, improved academic performance, and most importantly, student health.


Since San Diego Unified approved Healthy Start Times, California Senate Bill 328was signed into law, bringing state policy in line with our goals. Under the new law, California high schools are prohibited from starting classes before 8:30 a.m. Middle schools may not start before 8 a.m. under the new state law.


Insufficient sleep among teens has been associated with a wide variety of adverse outcomes, from poor mental and physical health to behavioral problems and lower academic grades. The Society of Behavioral Medicine, the National Association of School Nurses, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the NCAA Sport Science Institute all support later start times. More information can be found here:https://sites.google.com/a/sandi.net/oss/oss/healthy-start-times


San Diego Unified is proud to lead the way on this important initiative, approved with the health and wellness of students in mind. We understand this move will require new routines for families. Some employers have already expressed support for this move, and understand that flexibility will be in order while we all adjust to new schedules.


Although the new school year is months away, please start planning for this change by coordinating carpools and considering before- and after-school arrangements. Please visit the district website for full details of the Healthy Start Times initiative: https://www.sandiegounified.org/healthy-start-times




Jeff Olivero

Principal, UCHS