(Updated: I added the Superintendent's presentation to this post in paragraph 1.)
In my unhappiness over the math adoption vote ( and it's not anger but a numb disappointment), I forgot to mention the hilarious discussion over bell times, primarily for elementaries (and a couple of "second tier" K-8s). This was the first item that Dr. G-J went over in her superintendent's report.
She explained that there was a difference between bus arrival times and school start times (the buses have to arrive 15-20 minutes before school starts so kids who have breakfast there can eat). For end times, she said the buses would generally leave about 5 minutes after school ends. She further explains that they have changed the ARRIVAL times (and therefore the START) times by 10-15 minutes back from what was previously announced. But, and this is key, she didn't say instead of "X:00 to X:00, it's now Y:00 to Y:00". So naturally, some directors raised their hands.
But then she has Mr. Bishop, the staff person in charge of this, come up to answer directors' questions. And the main question is...what does this mean for real start times? First up, Harium. Mr. Bishop rambles through his reply (and seriously, he was speaking English but I couldn't follow it). Harium smiles and said, "That didn't answer my question. When I have parents call me to ask what time their school starts at I need an answer." Mr. Bishop said oh, we have a list and we can give it to you. Harium: great. Then Peter Maier gives it a shot and again, Mr. Bishop just wasn't clear.
Then there was some discussion by the Superintendent about putting the times on the website (there's some thinking) and putting it out to the PTAs (why?) so they can let their membership know.
First, I believe this backpedalling on the start times is because many, many parents let Board members know their unhappiness. Good for everyone who weighed in. It worked.
Second, I still am not sure of the window for the START times but I think it's from 9:15-9:30 but hey, go check the SPS website. Sometime but I don't know when.
Third, all this talk of aligned start times is BS - start everyone at the same time so there is no confusion. I'm sure there's some reason why EACH school gets to pick its start time (and by pick, I mean staff and principal, not parents) but it's confusing. And I'm sure the bus drivers love trying to keep track of who starts when.
Fourth, this is the most BASIC information for parents. And the district has trouble explaining it to Directors? And has to think of ways to get it out to parents? This information needs to be front and center on the website and should be there BEFORE people get their assignment letters later this month.
Parents need to know what time their child's school starts and ends and I can't believe I had to say that outloud. But judging from last night, yes I did.