Isaac Newton’s three laws of motion provided laughs and giggles for a gym full of Peter Kirk Elementary students in February.
School Start Time Advisory
A School Start Time Advisory has been meeting in 2017-18 and is continuing work in 2018-19 to study the impacts of potentially changing high school start times to later in future years. The Advisory includes staff and parents from elementary, middle and high school levels. They will make a recommendation for any potential further changes to school start and end times. Further changes in the 2019-2020 school year may or not occur, depending on their recommendation. There will continue to be ample opportunity for families to provide input throughout the process. Any changes to the high school start and end times result in adjustments to middle and elementary start and end times due to transportation.
January 18, 2018
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.
December 14, 2017
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.
November 16, 2017
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.
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.
School Start Time Advisory Meetings
- March 15, 2018
- April 19, 2018