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    School Start Time Advisory

    Click here to take the Start Time Advisory Committee’s survey by November 26

    Background
    School start and end times changed for the 2018-19 school year as a seven-period schedule was implemented for high school students.

    A School Start Time Advisory Committee comprised of staff and parents from elementary, middle and high school levels is continuing work in 2018-19. Due to Advisory Committee membership attrition and changes, we added members for this year’s work, including two middle school principals, two Lake Washington Schools Foundation trustees/parents, two elementary school office managers and two Preschool teachers.

    The district recognizes that some families have had to make changes in child care arrangements to adjust to the new schedule. This Advisory Committee will use their time this year to learn about the effects of these changes, both intended and unintended, and make recommendations for the district to consider.

    At this time, LWSD is not planning to make changes to the current start/dismissal times for the 2019-20 school year.

    In 2018-19, the focus of the Advisory Committee will be to:  

    • Administer two online surveys, one per semester, to gather staff and parent feedback on start/dismissal time impacts
    • Analyze survey feedback to understand the impact of start/dismissal time changes
    • Use the feedback to determine how far and how fast we make any further changes to start/dismissal times in the future

    The first survey will be open between November 7 and 26.

    Timeline Process
    October 30, 2018 Advisory meeting #1 – understand focus and purpose; review timeline and survey #1 questions
    November 7, 8 and 21, 2018 Focus and Connections article, including survey #1 link
    November 7–26, 2018 Online 1st semester survey for staff and parents – gather feedback on 2018-19 start time impacts
    November 29, 2018 Advisory meeting #2 – analysis of survey feedback
    January 8 and 15, 2019 Share survey findings and themes with administrators at Level meetings
    January 14, 2019 School Board Study Session – share Advisory focus, timeline and survey #1 themes
    January 23 and 24, 2019 Focus and Connections article – share survey themes
    March 4, 2019 School Board Study Session – share Advisory progress
    March 6, 7, 20 and 21, 2019 Focus and Connections article, including survey #2 link
    March 6–25, 2019 Online 2nd semester survey for staff and parents – gather feedback on 2018-19 start time impacts
    March 27, 2019 Advisory meeting #3 – analysis of survey feedback and recommendations
    April 2 and 16, 2019 Share survey findings and themes with administrators at Level meetings
    April 24 and 25, 2019 Focus and Connections article – survey themes, next steps communicated to staff and parents

    Advisory meeting dates, notes, and survey links will be posted below.

    October 30, 2018 Meeting

    The School Start Time Advisory held its first meeting of the year on Tuesday, October 30. The Advisory reviewed the actions, timeline and focus for the 2018-19 school year. At this time, LWSD is not planning to make changes to the current start/dismissal times for the 2019-20 school year.

    In 2018-19, the focus of the Advisory Committee will be to:

    • Administer two online surveys, one per semester, to gather staff and parent feedback on start/dismissal time impacts
    • Analyze survey feedback to understand the impact of start/dismissal time changes
    • Use the feedback to determine how far and how fast we make any further changes to start/dismissal times in the future

    In mixed member small groups, members shared how the change in start and dismissal times has affected their family and work schedule this year. Members also shared the changes they have observed in their schools so far this year as impacted by the start time changes. Advisory members reviewed the first draft of the first semester parent and staff survey questions. The group made suggestions for changes to existing survey questions and provided additional survey questions to consider. A School Start Time Advisory survey link will be included in Connections for parents/community and Focus for staff in the week of November 5th.

    January 28, 2018 Meeting

    The School Start Time Advisory held its fifth meeting of the year on Thursday, January 18. The Advisory engaged in an school start time activity to help distinguish between competing interests and values. Based on the Advisory’s analysis and discussion of the various start and dismissal options from the previous meetings, Advisory members weighed in on the various options to help narrow the schedule priorities.

    The Advisory reviewed next steps and a communication plan to help parents and staff understand the 2018-19 start and end times.

    Meeting Resources:

    December 14, 2017 Meeting

    The School Start Time Advisory held its fourth meeting of the year on Thursday, December 14. The Advisory continued review of the quantitative results of the June 2017 School Start Time survey which was administered to K-12 staff, parents, and 9-12 students. At the request of the Advisory, our Transportation department developed another schedule option that was not included in the June 2017 survey. This option “flips” the times for elementary and high school level, creating a schedule where elementary start and dismissal ranges are earlier than high school times.

    Working in small groups, the Advisory members analyzed and discussed the impact of the new schedule option, using an Options Analysis matrix to compare how well each of the schedule options met the interests of each constituent group.

    Meeting Resources:

    November 16, 2017 Meeting

    The School Start Time Advisory held its third meeting of the year on Thursday, November 16. The Advisory continued review of the quantitative results of the June 2017 School Start Time survey which was administered to K-12 staff, parents, and 9-12 students. The group also reviewed the themes, or interests, that came from the verbatim survey comments. These interests included:

    • An interest in a later start time for high school student
    • An interest in a high school dismissal time that permits students to participate in after-school activities
    • An interest in keeping the start and dismissal times close to what they are currently
    • An interest in start and dismissal times for elementary students to accommodate before and after school childcare needs as well as family and work schedules
    • An interest in start and dismissal times that support a reasonable commute time and family schedule for staff

    Working in small groups, the Advisory members analyzed and discussed the survey results, using an Options Analysis matrix to compare how well each of the schedule options met the interests of each constituent group.

    Meeting Resources:

    October 19, 2017 Meeting

    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.

    Meeting Resources:

    August 25, 2017 Meeting

    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.