New start times at Seattle schools should help sleepy high schoolers

To help sleepy high schoolers and address discipline issues related to tired students, Seattle Public Schools will begin its year Wednesday with an overhaul of its first bell times across the district. Seattle high schools will start classes later while most elementary schools will start the day earlier in a juggling act designed to keep the change from creating a significant increase in transportation costs:

As a reminder to families, Seattle Public Schools is changing their bell times for the upcoming 2016-17 school year. The district says the change in school start times is designed to improve academic outcomes for secondary students. They are providing a list of resources on their district website, from child care and nutrition, to after school activities and safety and security, to help families make the transition.

Included in the elementary school adjustments were some surgical changes after parental push-back — including concern raised at Capitol Hill’s Stevens Elementary over a proposed 9:40 AM start time for the 18th and Galer school that would have left working parents scrambling for new child care solutions. Starting in the 2016/2017 school year, Garfield High School — the school most Capitol Hill public school students will attend — will begin its classes at 8:45 AM. Those tired Bulldogs previously started their sleepy mornings at 7:50 AM. The Central District’s Nova High will also feature an 8:45 AM start — only 15 minutes later than last year. Seattle World School on the TT Minor campus will start at 8:45 AM.

Stevens, meanwhile, will begin its day at 7:55 AM — rolled back from 8:40 — while E Mercer’s Lowell Elementary kids who previously started at 9:30 will clock in five minutes later at 9:35 AM. The Lowell plan had been 7:40 AM at one point — you got lucky, kids.

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