Monday, October 26, 2015

Bell Times Comparisons

Update:  from the Start School Later Seattle group, they are urging a "yes" vote on the current bell times plan.


Good news! SPS has brought forth a very good proposal to change start times for 2016-17.  These are the highlights:

  •HIGH SCHOOLS
Now: 2 out of 14 high schools start at a healthy time for adolescents.
Proposed: All 14 high schools (100%) would start at a healthy bell time of 8:50 a.m. (Tier 2)

  •MIDDLE SCHOOLS
Now: None of our 10 middle schools starts at a healthy time. 
Proposed: 9 of 10 (90%) would begin the school day at 8:50 a.m. (Tier 2)

  •ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS
Now: 28 elementary schools at Tier 3, which is hard on many families
Proposed: 49 elementary schools would start at 8:00 (Tier 1); 10 would remain in Tier 3 (a 64% reduction).

  •K-8s
Now: 5 K8s in Tier 3, 5 K8s in Tier 2, and 1 K8 in Tier 1
Proposed: 3 in Tier 3 (a 40% reduction); 5 in Tier 2; 3 in Tier 1.

The cost of these changes is ZERO, and they will benefit many thousands of students.

The proposal is a major step forward, and we strongly support it. It is not perfect, but it is a HUGE improvement over our current system, which is without doubt detrimental to both adolescents who are sleep deprived, and to younger students who start too late.

Still, our goal is to have all SPS students scheduled at a biologically appropriate start time, and we will continue to advocate for that goal.  After this vote, our efforts should be focused on Olympia to achieve full funding of public education so that two transportation tiers—the best schedule for all students—can be our next accomplishment.

In the meantime, the board will vote on 11/4.  Please send an email urging a YES vote, as a no vote will maintain the status quo for the foreseeable future. 


Two of the hard-working members of Soup for Teachers, Liza Rankin and Tama Weinberg created this info-graphic.  There's also a link here to current bell times.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

All me, Melissa! I can send you links to the live versions of the maps, too, if you want them. They have the middle, high schools, and K-8s on them and you can click on the dots to see the school name.
-Liza from SfT

Anonymous said...

Nice graphic! I am wondering if anyone who is unhappy with their school's newest start time has contacted the district and heard anything back yet? They are still accepting feedback, so you can email arrivaltimes@seattleschools.org. I'd also add Pegi McEvoy, the superintendent and the board just to be safe.

BT

Anonymous said...

I don't know what anyone's heard back, but I know there are people who are unhappy with the change in their proposed time from the first proposal to the Oct "final" proposal who have written and spoken at board meetings. (There was a lot wrong with the first proposal though, and nothing's going to make everyone happy! 13 schools in tier 3 is at least an improvement.)
-Liza

Melissa Westbrook said...

Yes, please send me the live links.

lowell parent said...

Can't make everyone happy. I wonder how they were able to reduce the number of late starting schools with out an increase in bus costs.

lowell parent said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

The new 8:50 time for high school and middle schools is good I think. I hear that outside of Seattle, there are high schools starting as early as 7 am, so that is a huge difference.

The only remaining concern is that neighborhood elementary schools that share after school resources should be grouped together if at all possible, since there is such a huge gap between getting out at 2:10 pm vs. 3:50 pm, so the after school programs will have trouble serving everyone equally.

BT

Anonymous said...

Emailed you, Melissa
-Liza

Christopher M said...

Here's a thought: We should be pressing them to spend the money.

Here's the math: roughly 20,000 middle/high school students. 180 school days. If the figure to have all on one tier is $8m, that's just $2.00 per student per day. That money buys you students who are awake enough to benefit from all of the other money SPS spends on curriculum and support.

I don't know if you could find many other uses of $2.00 per student per day that would return this level of benefit.

Christopher

Tresanos said...

Liza, great graphics! Thank you!

Burke said...

I'm wondering how many of you have young kids still in Tier 3? Naturally, new parents with young kids are new to SPS and it's harder to get up to speed and have a voice. My kid too will one day be in middle school or high school. But right now they are in elementary. And the start times are getting later and later for us. While the majority gets what they want. Science also shows earlier start times are better for elementary kids! WHEN do you possibly think the district will pay $3million (compared with a $32 million transportation budget) to give us the benefits of a flipped schedule too? Again and again I say, no one wants to sink the ship but all kids deserve to be on it.