Late Start Is Undoubtedly Not Meant for San Juan Hills

Cooper Aitken, Entertainment Editor

Every year it becomes more noticeable that La Pata and Stallion Ridge are unable to properly accommodate the growing population of San Juan Hills, and the new late start schedule has only made this more apparent. 

Almost every one of our 3000 students were impacted by the traffic nightmare on the first day of school, and while history has shown that daily traffic times decrease after the first two weeks, the late start schedule has prolonged unreasonable traffic times on Monday mornings. 

The new late start schedule was a district wide decision that lacked regard for the peculiar traffic situation of San Juan Hills, leaving families and students frustrated. This drastic schedule change is not feasible for our campus layout, and constantly increasing size. 

Throughout previous years there was rarely a time where every student attempted to get on campus all at one time, as in the mornings, Mondays included, zero period students came an hour earlier. Departure times of students after school becomes spread out as extracurriculars such as sports and theatre arts allow a significant portion of the student population to leave hours after the last bell. 

However, as students no longer have zero period on Mondays, and almost every student has a first period class, approximately 3000 students are all attempting to get into school at the same time. This has put a strain on La Pata, Stallion Ridge, and roads in the Sendero area. 

Additionally, many students request zero period courses to avoid the morning traffic before first period, however this new schedule has eliminated that benefit on Mondays for zero period students without informing them of the lost perk before they signed up for classes.

This drastic schedule change is not feasible for our campus layout, and constantly increasing size. 

Many individuals supporting the new late start schedule have praised its ability to let students sleep longer, but this benefit has hardly been felt. Late start comes at a severe expense to zero period students, who often have full schedules of difficult classes, as they are now losing more sleep than they’re gaining with late start. Because of the  traffic delays, most students are forced to wake up and leave their homes at times similar to when they had to leave  with the previous early out schedule. 

This new schedule has done the opposite of what it sought to achieve: most students are getting the same amount of sleep as they did with the normal schedule and zero period students are getting even less, all without getting to leave school 40 minutes earlier. 

This new schedule has raised the issue of what we as a community are willing to tolerate from the district. Many of their unpopular decisions have been defendable on the basis of public health, such as the mask mandate, however there has been little justification for this new change. This shift even poses a  danger for students and families, as impatient drivers often abruptly cut in front of other cars to get ahead in line; especially when so many are now in fear of being late. 

Why should we have to suffer the consequences of a decision that didn’t specifically consider us and serves no benefit? 

Why should we as students be at best inconvenienced and at worst put in danger because CUSD failed to consider the layout of our campus?  

Why should we have to have an aggravating start to our Monday mornings because the board has not acknowledged us?

If you want change and your concerns to be heard, attend board meetings and speak during the public opinion section or contact your board representative. San Juan Hills is represented by Pamela Braunstein, and inform them of your concerns.