Seattle Public Schools needs to hear from YOU about when our neighborhood schools should start during the 2016-2017 school year. (Then they’ll be asking you again for 2017-2018…but first things first.)
The community pushed Seattle Public Schools to investigate helping improve teen health, safety & educational outcomes by scheduling middle/high school start times later. The Bell Times Task Force recommended that Elementary Schools (ES) “flip” start times with Middle Schools (MS) and High Schools (HS). The school district engaged in community outreach over the spring and summer and discovered that, mostly, respondents agreed this would be a fine idea.
The Superintendent’s Final Draft Proposal was revealed last week and included recommendations to move 20 elementary schools one hour LATER to accommodate the bus schedules the district anticipates would be needed to get all students to school under the new schedule. 17 of the schools recommended for this later start time are Title I schools with high populations of low income families.
In Beacon Hill, we’ll see two schools start one hour EARLIER (Maple and Dearborn Park Elementary, 8:50) and two schools start one hour LATER (Kimball and Beacon Hill International, 9:40). Van Asselt would start 10 minutes later than now. No one has explained why this would be either cost effective for transportation purposes or how the impacts on families would justify the benefit to middle/high school students. The district has not responded to family or staff concerns about the impact of this change on childcare, before/after school enrichment programs, or safety.
The Bell Times Task Force strongly recommended a “Two Tier” schedule, relying on buses to serve 2 schools and having two “tiers” of start times instead of three. The schedule changes recommended by the Task Force were based on research about health and safety. The Superintendent’s proposal is based on bus schedules.
The community engagement from last spring didn’t include any questions about elementary schools started later. If you participated in the surveys, you weren’t asked about a late start time. Now’s your chance to weigh in.
Email email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org to share your feedback about this proposal.
Please let your friends & neighbors know–if you have a child not yet enrolled in school this will affect your family next year, but you’re not getting the information.