The Portantino Rule: aka Late Start

UPDATE: April 19, 2022

SBCUSD provided an update on April 7, 2022 regarding the proposed late start schedule that was to be in effect for the 2022-2023 school year:

Starting in August 2023, San Bernardino City Unified School District (SBCUSD) students will have new school hours, with classes starting later for those in middle school and high school as part of a state law designed to give adolescents more time to sleep.

Starting with the 2023–2024 school year and in compliance with Senate Bill 328, also known as the Portantino Rule, all middle schools will start no earlier than 8 a.m. and all high schools will start no earlier than 8:30 a.m. to give secondary students more time to get the sleep their growing bodies need. Implementing SB 328 in 2023 allows SBCUSD to continue improving its plan while it continues looking into the impact on families, including those with students in elementary school. The extra time also gives SBCUSD more opportunities to continue informing families and employees about the upcoming school schedule changes.


There will be a new change in everyone’s lives starting August 2022.  It is a California mandate that high school must start no earlier than 8:30 am. The state of California decided to make this time change to ensure that more kids will be able to pay more attention in class and get enough sleep. (Senate Bill 382)

For so many years, students have been asking for a later start time and now it has been answered. Class time now starts one hour later. As a result of the later start time, school will be releasing at 3:35 pm instead of 2:35 pm. Dr. Gutierrez, SBHS principal, explained that late starts on Mondays are still being discussed.

This can drastically change everyone’s schedules, not just students. Parents and guardians will be affected. School bus pickup times, after school practices, student jobs, even the teachers and staff. Dr. Gutierrez also brought up the impact to sports, specifically baseball and softball practice. More lights would have to be installed to ensure athletes could practice and compete safely. According to, these lights can cost anywhere from $90,000 to $180,000.

“I believe it will make things a little harder on high school students with jobs going in late and getting out later. Parents with kids that attend different schools, like myself, will have to rush to get them all to their schools on time with not much of a gap in the start times. That goes for picking them up as well since they will all get out at almost the same time, Michelle Fuentes states.

“My schedule won’t be too affected, even with sports and clubs thrown in. I think it’s a change for the better as long as the district can properly run everything,” Leonardo Lopez (11) said. 

On February 15, 2022, the Board of Education had a meeting about late start and discussed the purpose of later start.

“The research around late start and starting schools at a later time centered around health benefits for our tweens or teens. Research shows that some of our teenagers, or most of our teenagers and tweens, go to bed at later times, meaning that their biological clocks won’t allow them to go to sleep until later times so it’s only right to look at starting school a little bit later for them as they sleep a little bit later in the morning,” Assistant Superintendent Dr. Marcus Funchess said. 

It has been scientifically proven that when a person sleeps in a little later they can build up more concentration. My health finder states that the benefits of sleeping in can increase your immune system, balance weight, reduce stress, better concentration, and so on.  But staying up late can cause a toll on mental and physical health. Sleep deprivation can cause high blood pressure, higher risk of heart attacks, and even depression.

However, “The Print” explains how sleeping earlier than the normal time (9:00pm-10:00pm) can cause an increase of heart attacks by around 9%. Also, many teenagers struggle to stay awake during the day. They claim that it is lack of sleep because they were busy doing homework. Since the time schedule will be pushed back by one hour, students will have a little less time to complete their assignments right after school unless they also push their sleep schedule. They can also sleep in by one more hour throughout the week. 

“Oh I think it would be an excellent change for students because it’s research-based that your circadian rhythms actually shift as you come into adolescence. There’s actually research that shows it starts shifting.” Dr. Gutierrez said.

While starting school later would benefit students, there are questions about the impact this would have on other student activities such as sports. Typically sport practices are scheduled for after school. For example, volleyball practice starts at 3:00pm and ends at 5:00pm. Some families work with that schedule so the athlete would come home in time for dinner. Now if the schedule were to change, practice would start at 4:00pm and end at 6:00pm. Not only dinner can be pushed back, but transportation would as well. 

“It impacts elementary and Special Ed because what they’ll do is drop the kids off at our school and then go pick up elementary routes,” Dr. Guiterrez said. 

While some students may be affected by the schedule change, it may also affect parents and guardians as well. Some students stay after school in the program CAPS to wait for their parents or guardians to pick them up. More students might have to enroll in CAPS. 

The District’s proposed solution for complying with the new law is as follows:

  • Elementary School would begin at 8:50 am. This would mean that bus riders would get on the bus early (some as early as 6:30am) and participate in Sunrise programs beginning at 7:30am. Bus riders would also participate in after school CAPS programs and get back on the bus as late as 4:45pm.
  • Middle School would begin at 9:00am and bus riders would arrive at the start time for school.
  • High School would begin at 8:30am and bus riders would arrive at the start time for school.

On March 8, 2022, the District sent out a survey to parents in order to receive feedback about how this proposed schedule would impact their family.

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