A wrap-up of last night's meeting from the great West Seattle Blog (partial):
It appears the district added another meeting because it wasn't there when I first posted the list:
Mon., Oct. 5, 2015, 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Jane Addams Middle School
11051 34th Avenue Northeast
Interpreters provided (subject to change due to availability) Chinese, Spanish
Seattle Public Schools‘
draft proposal for changing bell times didn’t draw much support among
the two dozen or so people who showed up at the first of five public
meetings about it, held tonight at Chief Sealth International High School.
Tonight’s meeting, led by assistant superintendent Pegi McEvoy,
got testy at times; most of those who spoke said they don’t want the
times to change at all. That wasn’t necessarily a surprise, given that
results of an online parent survey (see page 13 here)
showed this area with the highest support (46 percent) for keeping the
status quo. Concerns voiced at the meeting ranged from insufficient data
supporting the change to uncertainty over how afterschool activities
would be affected.
And that didn’t just mean classic extracurricular offerings such as athletics – for example, Denny principal Jeff Clark
said his school and two other middle schools are showing significant
improvement in closing the “achievement gap” thanks to special
after-school academic programs; if school starts two hours later, those
programs will end two hours later – keeping participants at school until
The data concerns had to do with results of a district survey about
changing bell times. Most of the parents in attendance said the plan to
move ahead was based on too small a set of responses to really justify
the change. But McEvoy and staff pointed to slides showing that they had gathered and parsed large amounts of data from parents and students.
Regarding athletics and after-school activities, attendees wondered how the district was working with Seattle Parks regarding field use, especially for West Seattle HS and adjacent Hiawatha Playfield.
According to McEvoy, a district contract with Parks has expired and
they’re working on an agreement, but don’t want to finalize anything
until the district makes its bell-times decision. Some parents suggested
that seemed to be a backward way to go about it, and some wondered if
practices would end up being moved to the morning hours before school,
canceling the expected benefits of a later start time for classes.
If you have something to say – pro, con, or otherwise – the district is
continuing to accept comments through October 6th; e-mail yours to firstname.lastname@example.org. As noted above, 4 more meetings are planned elsewhere in the district; see the list here. If you want to read through some or all of the backstory and district documentation on this issue – go here.