Mike Town, one of Tesla STEM High School’s founding teachers, is a recipient of the Patsy Collins Award for Excellence in Education, Environment, and Community.
School Start Time Advisory
October 19, 2017
The School Start Time Advisory held its second meeting of the year last Thursday, October 19. This group, which includes members from the College & Career Readiness Task Force, was expanded to include more representation from elementary and middle level staff and parents. This was intentionally done to ensure that multiple perspectives and impacts are considered in discussions of changing school times, especially as any change will impact the start and dismissal times for all levels.
During the recent meeting, the group heard a “Transportation 101” presentation from Barbara Posthumus, Associate Superintendent Business and Support Services and Jeff Miles, Transportation Manager. The presentation was designed to help the group understand how our tiered bus transportation system works.
Following the presentation, the group identified key learnings and interests, including:
- An acknowledgement that the geography of our district and transportation coverage is itself a challenge;
- An interest in the safety and welfare of students when considering morning pick-up and afternoon drop-off times;
- An interest to maintain a tiered bus system as it is the most efficient way of operating a transportation system; and,
- An interest in retaining quality bus drivers by optimizing bus drivers’ daily schedules.
The School Start Advisory will continue their work at the November 16 meeting.
August 25, 2017
For the past two years, the College and Career Readiness Task Force has been studying the impacts of the new state 24-credit graduation requirements and the potential for a seven-period day for grades 9-12 and other creative ways to expand options for students in grades 9-12. In April 2017, the Task force recommended adding time to the high school day to create a seventh period in each of our high schools. This change would not take place any earlier than the 2018-19 school year. So, for the 2017-18 school year, high schools continue with six periods.
This Task Force has also been studying school start times. The research literature describes the benefits of a later start time for high school students, including improvements in memory and learning, mental health and well-being, and overall academic achievement. In June 2017, we surveyed K-12 staff, parents, and high school students to gather feedback on four start/dismissal time options currently under consideration. The survey feedback is currently being analyzed for themes and patterns.
In September 2017, the School Start Time Advisory will convene and review the results of the June survey and determine additional information needed to make a recommendation for any change to current school start and dismissal times. Any proposed school start changes would not take place any earlier than 2018-19.
The School Start Time Advisory is made up of administrators, teachers, and parents and includes some members who also served on the College & Career Readiness Task Force.