Monday, August 25, 2014

Later school start times for teens - Doctor's orders

The American Academy of Pediatrics issued a policy statement calling on school districts to move start times to 8:30 am or later for middle and high schools, so that students can get at least 8 1/2 hours of sleep a night.

Full story here.


Anonymous said...

The fact that Garfield is starting ten minutes EARLIER this year means that my kid can't take the Running Start class she wanted at Central and still have time to get back to GHS for classes there. GRRR.


Sigh said...

The board needs to keep pushing this issue. Unfortunately, my student will be taking pre- calculus at 7:50am.

Anonymous said...

What I heard about GHS is that SPS made them adhere to the 7:50 start time, that they had been trying to make them start earlier for more than this one year.

Charlie Mas said...

Who is standing in opposition to this and what thin rationale are they using?

dan dempsey said...

Come on Charlie.... since when does staff need rationale.

Lynn said...

I think the rationale is that we are going to have to move to split schedules or a year round schooling schedule to make up for a lack of high school capacity very soon.

pro-sleep mom said...

It isn't just Garfield- all high schools have been changed to 7:50 unless they had an exception before (Nova, Center, Hale and Sealth)

As usual, this change is in the name of transportation efficiency. Setting up three clean tiers is supposed to make it easier to flip times when we do that.

At the meeting when the transportation schedule was voted in, the Board was assured specifically that high school start times would not be earlier, even though the bus times were earlier. And yet they are.

I'm surprised by Rainier Beach's 7:50 time though- they had a big grant, and wanted a Tier 2 start to go with that. The Board approved $250k for their buses so they could have the time they wanted (8:40; nice for HS); but this doesn't seem to have come to pass and they are at 7:50. Anyone know the story here? (Athletics held sway, perhaps?)

I hope the Board will keep pushing this issue; the AAP adds some weight, as does Seattle Children's current education campaign on sleep. I know the parents and nurses and many other groups will keep pushing until this gets done.

Linh-Co said...

Ten minutes makes a huge difference to Running Start kids and coming back to school for other classes. This last minute change stinks.

My daughter has to drop her computer programming class since she now has 15 minutes to get back from North Seattle to Ingraham. The bus ride is 10 minutes.

Anonymous said...

In high school most students do not get yellow bus service. I wonder if the three tier or two tier bus times to allow for SPED buses at high school is truly a high barrier to letting high schools start at 8:30. Who or what is driving this push to 7:50 in opposition to parents wanting 8:30.? Where is the real transparency? My kid starting at JAMS has received ORCA transportation because of our distance from the school. No yellow bus. Not sure what numbers are in the calculation for middle school.

Lynn said...


Here's the Spring Transportation Report.

Nathan Hale had seven bus routes last year - all Special Ed.

mirmac1 said...

SpEd students shall and should follow the same schedule as all other students. If the district fails to meet this standard, there is a serious OCR matter. I'll bet for the price paid for the bell-time analysis "Project Manager", and diversion of senior staff from Seattle PfA, assessment training and Strategic Plan BS, there could be some accommodations made.

Po3 said...

If Hale can start at 8:40 time and still ensure special ed students get busses to/from on the same schedule and run sports programs then why can't all the highschools start at the same time?

What is the agruement?

Anonymous said...

Seven buses per high school doesn't seem like that should determine what time high school starts. I don't understand why they can't have high schools and middle schools start at 8:30.

Anonymous said...

What I mean is that 7 buses per high school seems like not very much cost, and that that small cost shouldn't determine what time all the city's high schools should start. Of course all students should start at the same time in a school.

Anonymous said...

I've seen an email telling a principal that Michael Tolley was insisting the principal's school get on board with the 7:50 time.

Thanks Banda

Lynn said...

Every additional bus required costs between $45,000 and $50,000 for the school year.

Anonymous said...

It seems that with the overcrowding in highschools that we would want to make Running Start work for more kids, not screw them out of it.

This is especially hard on seniors who were counting on those classes and are now really scrambling to figure out how to meet the requirements.

That shift to ten minutes earlier messed up a lot of kids. Do the Community colleges even realize it yet? It will certainly affect their enrollment patterns.

I still haven't seen a clear reason given for the shift, so it just seems so...arbitrary and capricious.