May 17, 2022
School Start Time Changes for 2022-23
The school board of trustees just recently voted to change the start times for middle school to 9:00 a.m. and high school to 8:30 a.m. for the 2022-23 school year. The board voted to set the start time for elementary schools at 8:00 a.m. This means that twelve of the elementary schools will have no change and three schools will have a slight change in start time so that they are on the same schedule. We will be working with the principals to revise the bell schedules for all schools in the next two weeks. We will publish the new bell schedules with the new start and end times for every school in the district the week of May 30, 2022.
The reason for this change is in response to the passage of Senate Bill No. 328 that mandates all middle schools to have a start time no earlier than 8:00 a.m. and the high schools to have a start time no earlier than 8:30 a.m. beginning with the 2022-23 school year. Much work has been done over the past twelve months in Vista Unified to study the impacts and effects of this new state requirement on our many different systems, including instruction, facilities, transportation, and child nutrition services. Additionally, we held two community forums and sent out a parent survey to collect feedback. We received just over 800 parent responses. All of this information was presented to the school board in two separate meetings on May 5th and May 11th. The new bell schedules for all schools will be posted to the Vista Unified web page the week of May 30, 2022.
While these new start times will create challenges at the middle and high school levels, there are some positive opportunities as well. For middle schools, we will be working to develop instructional and extracurricular options for students so that they have access to structured activities before school. At the high school level, each high school is working to develop zero period and additional learning opportunities for students who would like to expand their choices for courses. We are working on expanding access to extracurricular activities in the morning at high school, as well.
Our Deepest Sympathies to the Community of Buffalo, New York
It is with deep sadness that we learned about the tragic shooting at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York. This senseless attack on innocent people is the latest in a number of horrifying murders that have happened across the country. In this case, the incident also involved targeting the Black community and used anti-Semitic language. While this recent act of gun violence may have happened thousands of miles away from Vista, our students, educators, and families are feeling the harm that it caused. Now more than ever before, we need to pull together as a community to live our values of trust, respect, collaboration, and equity. These are not just words; they are actions we can all take to build stronger, more supportive and tolerant relationships with each other. Our district has been committed to expanding our collective efforts in the areas of equity and antiracism. We have devoted significant time and effort this year training all teachers and staff in recognizing and addressing implicit bias. We have also invested time and resources in creating trauma sensitive school environments. Our school board just recently passed a resolution to promote safe gun storage. We are set to host the first community event to build understanding about the importance of safe gun storage.
Our district team of counselors, social workers, and other staff are here to support students and their families as they look for guidance to process this recent trauma. We have also partnered with the San Diego County Office of Education to provide a host of resources for teachers, students, and families to address the trauma caused by mass shootings.
Safe Gun Storage Community Webinar
In partnership with Moms Demand Action and the Sheriff’s Department, Vista Unified will host a “Night of Conversation” as we discuss Safe Gun Storage. By securely storing guns, gun owners can make their homes and communities safer. This means storing them locked, unloaded, and separate from ammunition. Securing firearms protects children and adults by preventing unintentional shootings and gun suicides. We hope you are able to join us on May 25th from 5:30-6:30 pm for this informative webinar. Together, we can make a difference.
Summer Programs for the Arts
Vista Unified is committed to expanding programs for the arts, music, dance, and drama across the district. This year, we will be offering a series of summer learning sessions for students with specific focus on the arts. These programs are open to any student in the district. Space is limited, so reach out to the contact person listed below for more information.
Matt Doyle, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Vista Unified School District