Here's the revised Start Time proposal that will be presented and voted on tonight:
All indications are that it will pass.
The proposed changes would specify two start/dismissal times to maximize operational efficiency, provide more consistency and reduce transportation costs. The proposed changes being presented tonight are different from the original board motion, and reflect input from community and staff.
The proposed changes are:
Middle schools, high schools and most K-8 schools (Alternative School No. 1, Catharine Blaine, Broadview-Thomson, Jane Addams, Madrona, Orca, Pathfinder, and South Shore): 8:15 a.m. start, 2:45 p.m. dismissal
Elementary schools, plus K-8 schools that currently have bus routes that run 60 minutes or longer (e.g. Salmon Bay and TOPS): 9:30 a.m. start, 3:40 p.m. dismissal
Moving the start times from the original proposal (which was 8:00 and 9:15) and instead recommending start times of 8:15 and 9:30 will help ensure that young students do not need to wait for buses while it is still dark in the mornings. The proposal allows “tiering” of buses, which means that each bus will drive two routes in the morning (one secondary or K-8 followed by one elementary) and then do the same in the afternoon. With the current inconsistencies in start times, most buses can only drive one route in the a.m. and one in the p.m. In addition, many routes will be streamlined so that ride time will be reduced for many students. Currently, many routes serve two or more schools, which lengthens the total ride time. All K-8’s and many elementary and middle schools will have dedicated routes under the new system.
Here are the staff presentations on deck for tonight:
- Program Placement
- Bell Times Presentation
- EBD Audit Update
- Nutrition Services, Procurement and Furniture
Steve Sundquist brought up Charlie's request for a Spectrum program in West Seattle South and asked what the process should be for responding to these requests.
- Transportation Report (still without Best Practices or Research and Data)
- Transportation Service Standards
Dr. G-J claims that the lack of community engagement on the Bell Times issue was because closure process took up so much staff time. Said incorporating feedback from community in tonight's proposal.
I missed a bunch. Now Kennedy is talking about how principals will be allowed to make adjustments to start and end times. (Really? How much? Kennedy says within a 10 minute range and "just like we do today") And that principals would have flexibility around staff start and end times. (This seems to be in reaction to the SEA testimony this evening.)
More discussion/questions/presentation by staff that I missed while tucking children into bed.
Sundquist says intention next year is to come back and revisit sleep research and do a study next year. (Sorry...but this is so lame. They're making the decision tonight and then studying whether or not it is a good idea next year.)
Voting is so far unanimous tonight in support of all actions.
Prior to the vote on Transportation, opening up for final Board actions/questions. Martin-Morris spoke about the "greater good we are doing" for safety, the environment, etc.
Motion passed, with only Mary Bass opposing it.