To help middle and high schoolers get a more productive school day, Seattle Public Schools is working on a plan to shift the school day later for 6th-12th graders while shifting elementary kids to earlier start times to balance out the district’s education and transportation resources:
Theory and research indicate that starting school later may be beneficial for the academic achievement and health of teenagers, while the same theory suggests that elementary students should not be adversely affected by an earlier start time. Findings from organizations such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Centers for Disease Control (CDC), American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and National Sleep Foundation (NSF) conclude that adolescents need about nine hours of sleep per night for optimal health and brain development. In addition, several groups have indicated support for a later start time including the Seattle Council PTSA, the Seattle School Nurses Association, and the Seattle Education Association. More than 3,550 parents, guardians, teachers, and pediatricians signed a petition given to Seattle Public Schools to delay start times for high school and middle students. The School Board has received thousands of emails requesting the shift to a later start time for adolescents.
Friday night brings the Central Seattle edition of the district’s community meeting series to discuss the “Cost Neutral Modified Flip” recommendation:
Seattle Public Schools is hosting five community meetings September 29 to October 5 to share information about the Superintendent’s Final Draft Recommendation on Bell Time Changes. Staff members will present information, answer questions and collect feedback.
At each meeting, the Superintendent’s Final Draft Recommendation will be presented to attendees, after which questions will be taken and feedback collected. All meetings are 6:30 P.M. – 7:30 P.M.
|Friday, October 2, 2015
||Washington Middle SchoolLibrary(2101 South Jackson Street)
||Spanish, Somali, Vietnamese, Chinese
|Monday, October 5, 2015
||Jane Addams Middle School(11051 34th Avenue Northeast)
According to survey data from SPS (PDF), support for the “flip” plan is strongest in North Seattle schools with less support as you move south. White respondents were also more likely to support the change. The recommendation being pursued does not “does not increase operational costs for transportation,” according to the district.
If ultimately approved by the board, the new times will be implemented for the 2016/2017 school year.
The district is also accepting comments through October 6th via email@example.com.
UPDATE: The parents at Stevens Elementary have, um, sounded the alarm. The 18th Ave E school is one of the facilities being lined up for a 9:40 AM start time with the school day running through 3:50 PM — an hour later shift from the current bells.
The PTA is, well, concerned:
The Stevens PTA Board just learned that
SPS is proposing to move the Stevens start time to:
9:40AM – one hour later
for the 2016 school year.
If adopted, Stevens would run
The Stevens PTA Board is concerned that the proposed changes would adversely challenge our families.
A Community Meeting is TONIGHT,
Friday, October 2, 2015
Washington Middle School
6:30PM – 7:30PM
We encourage you to attend and provide feedback to to the Seattle School District.
Lowell, Capitol Hill’s other public elementary, is proposed for a 8 AM start. You can see the proposed 2016/2017 start times for all schools here (PDF).