Monday, April 24, 2017

Good News from the City on Two Tier Busing

From Liza Rankin at Soup for Teachers:  

It's a go! 

The city is giving $2.3M for us to move to 2 tiers from the Families and Ed Levy, and also giving $300,000 or so to fund crossing guards at 100+ locations around the city! It still needs to be officially adopted by the Levy Oversight Committee and council, but that's a formality. They are all for it!

That seems to mean two tiers, one at 8 am and one at 9 am.

Rankin says in another comment that PTA and Soup for Teachers advocacy helped get this done for SPS families.

No tweets or website announcement yet from SPS.

69 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good news about 2 Tiers...but still dreading the start/end times for next year. How I wish we could return to an 8AM start for MS/HS and 9AM start for elementary. Wanting to...

flip back

Anonymous said...

Not good news for everyone.
MS and HS will end too late.
-LM

OV Mom said...

Hallelujah! I can't tell you how happy I am to have my kids starting closer to the same time and ending closer to the same time. Mommy just got more work hours, baby!

Cynthia K said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Prosleep Mom said...

This is a huge step forward to healthier times for so many kids. Thanks to all who wrote, went to meetings and huge thanks to the City for stepping up to make this a reality! Pegi McEvoy, a big thank you for your leadership and initiative in getting this done.

Finding a schedule that is perfect for everyone is simply impossible; there are many individual variables; some teens are larks, but they are a small minority and creating a schedule for a tiny minority does not make sense to me. Flip back wants an 8 am high school start- I would ask how do you reconcile that with the American Association of Pediatrics and the American Medical Association and the Nurse's Association recommendation (among many other groups) that adolescents start school no earlier than 8:30? There is tons of evidence that teens need a lot of sleep, that their internal clock changes during adolescence and then changes back in adulthood. We are giving our kids the best chance at learning higher math, graduating, and letting them avoid the risk taking behaviors, car accidents, diabetes and other serious negative impacts associated with inadequate sleep. Can creativity and initiative be used to mitigate for kids who are losing something due to the schedule? Of course! Perhaps the next effort will be for City funding of more lighted sports fields.

Anonymous said...

Is there any idea about the 20 minutes extra added to the school day next year? Is it all going to be at the end of the day, or will it be 7:50 and 8:50 start times? Or are the added times going to delayed until we have the budget?

Krab

Anonymous said...

One question I have is that under the old 3 tier system there were 50 minutes between tiers. Under the new system there are 60 minutes between them. What are the extra 10 minutes for?

-puzzled

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lynn said...

Traffic I believe. Too many 2nd and 3rd tier buses were late under the old schedule.

Anonymous said...

That's great news! Getting to two tier is really important. Research supports teens starting later and the one hour between Tiers allows for buses to make the next route on time.

A 9am start time for High School may make it easier to have sports practices in the mornings...?

QA Parent

Anonymous said...

https://www.seattleschools.org/UserFiles/Servers/Server_543/File/District/Departments/Transportation/17-18%20Transportation%20Documents/2017-18%20Arrival%20&%20Departure%20Times%20B.1%20&%20B.2.pdf has proposed times (second page)

- MemoReader

Anonymous said...

Finally! During the start time community meetings many parents asked for 2 shifts. They said that 2 shifts would make this workable for them. They were told that it was not possible at that time. In this case staff & community members continued to work toward this solution. We didn't have new staff come in with new priorities, disregarding old promises. A big hooray for Pegi McEvoy for keeping this on the front burning and continually looking for the funding to make it happen.

-HS Parent

Anonymous said...

A 9am start time for High School may make it easier to have sports practices in the mornings...?

I would ask how do you reconcile that with the American Association of Pediatrics and the American Medical Association and the Nurse's Association recommendation (among many other groups) that adolescents start school no earlier than 8:30?


Physical activity and organized sports are also an important part of a student's wellbeing. Improved mental function, lower risk of diabetes, and all that. Sports practice in the morning? Kind of defeats the point of the late start, huh? Part of the issue is getting to games and meets. Students will now have to miss even more school to participate in sports. Students will have fewer daylight hours to practice. Working students have even fewer hours available for afterschool jobs. Students are not getting more sleep. There are still the same number of hours in the day. The day has just been forcibly shifted.

(the proposed times are part of a January Board meeting where 2016-17 transportation standards were approved)

flip back

Anonymous said...

Approved times for 2 Tier transportation:

MS/HS - Arrive 8:45; Start 9:00; End 3:50; Depart 4:00

ES - Arrive 7:45; Start 8:00; End 2:30; Depart 2:40

Middle school/High school will be ending a full 90 minutes later than last school year. That's a huge shift.

flip back

Melissa Westbrook said...

"MS and HS will end too late." For....what? Athletics?

See my This and That thread with a story about later start times for one district (re: Athletics). As well, later starts have shown to be linked to fewer injuries to athletes.

And, for hopefully the last time, school is overwhelmingly for academics.

Anonymous said...

For every article/study on the benefits of later start times, one could find an equally compelling study on the benefits of organized sports - for physical and mental health, keeping kids in school, keeping kids out of trouble, etc.

seriously

Jet City mom said...

Some schools are having a harder time funding transportation for teams.

Why cant they have 8 am start time in high school, but have first period be PE, music or dance?

"Foster said his athletic department has a budget, but it’s minimal and transportation is the biggest expense. Due to changed start times for classes this year, all of his teams have to use private charter buses to games, which can cost $900 versus $150 when the normal school buses were used."

http://www.seattletimes.com/sports/high-school/rainier-beach-baseball-team-did-some-fundraising-to-build-whole-new-program-establish-pride/

Anonymous said...

This is a great idea. 7:30 sports practices. If you want your teen up early doing things, they can, but they don't all have to.

Sleeper

Anonymous said...

"MS and HS will end too late." For....what? Athletics?

For any kind of life outside of high school.

-seeking balance

Lynn said...

First, there aren't enough PE, music and dance(?) teachers to teach 1,600 students at the same time in one school. That's something like 50 teachers.

Second, kids who start school before 8:30 aren't just tired during first period. They're sleep deprived all day. It's getting up too early that is the problem not the subject covered in first period.

It does seem that the transportation budget should take into account the cost of getting teams to games - assuming other extracurricular activities have similar budgets.

Anonymous said...

I hope MS goes back to an earlier start time by the time my daughter goes so she isn't walking home in the dark by herself if she does sports or any after school activities. This seems like a waste of money for a one year fix. The district won't have the funds to continue it after next year.

Helen

Anonymous said...

When high schools have strong interscholastic sports participation rates, they report lower levels of major crime and fewer suspensions, according to a new University of Michigan study.

http://yvpc.sph.umich.edu/participation-high-school-sports-lowers-major-crime/

A new study from the University of Kansas that analyzed academic performance of athletes and nonathletes across Kansas shows that participation in interscholastic athletics is often associated with better educational outcomes...'As such, participation should be encouraged, especially for high-risk populations, and specifically for minority students'

https://news.ku.edu/2014/01/15/study-shows-high-school-athletes-performed-better-school-persisted-graduation-more-non

...students who participated more often in team sports or general exercise were less likely to use cigarettes, marijuana, and other illicit drugs than other high school seniors.

http://www.seenmagazine.us/Articles/Article-Detail/ArticleId/1653/The-impact-of-athletics-on-academics

..and so on.

Lynn said...

Helen,

The district only has to pay the increased cost for one year. Next year the state will pay for it. (They limit reimbursement to the amount spent in the prior year.)

Do you prefer that middle school students walk to school in the dark?

2Tier Chill'n said...

The state pays transportation costs based on last year's costs. So if the city pays this one year, we're good.

Anonymous said...

The Atlantic article about later start times suggested the profiled district would move to a new start time of around 8:00 (from 7:35). Another district in the Midwest said they'd still be able to get sports practice in before dark...because they are not in the upper NW where it's dark at 4PM. What other districts start high school at 9:00?? There's later, then there's simply late.

-too late

Anonymous said...

They can't just flip back, though. Middle and high school are longer than elementary school, so the end of day stagger would not be long enough. They'd need to place someone uncomfortably early or late again.

-sleeper

Jet City mom said...

To go back to the having an active class at 8am rather than a heavy class like physics or ap French, I think it is still feasible.
You dont need to find dance teachers for 1600 students, because some kids already have late arrival.
Some students are doing Running Start, some are TA's. Photography, Pe, Pottery all are classes that dont require sitting imobile for an hr.
Marketing, Drama, Set Design, Choir, orchestra, band,
Its interesting that Seattle public high schools are 30 minutes shorter every day, than the district where my soninlaw coaches.
Maybe thats why they have better results.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Reprinting for anonymous:

According to data from the National Center for Education Statistics (2011-12), only 3.8% of public high schools start at 9:00 or later. When broken down by school size, only 1.9% of schools with more than 1000 or more students start 9:00 or later. Only 1.9%.

-NP

SusanH said...

Well great! We are part of the 1.9% that is listening to science and doing what's best, and healthiest, for our teenagers!

Anonymous said...

For HS students it is really too late to interact with parents, to participate in after school activities including working or volunteering. They will have to do their service during summer, no way they'll be able to fit it during the week. The kids won't sleep more, they will just sleep later. That has been the experience in our home.

I'll echo what "seeking balance wrote," it is too late "for any kind of life outside of high school."

-LM

SusanH said...

And come'on guys. Enough with the complaining. People have complained for years about the 3-tier system. People hated the 7:30 starts and the 9:30 starts. (Ridiculously early! Ridiculously late!) Giving us 8 am and 9 am start times seems pretty darned reasonable. It's a win.

And, someone always ends up walking to or from school in the dark. Seattle has very short days in the winter. There's no avoiding it.

Lynn said...

So every English, history, math, science and world language teacher in a high school would be scheduled for their planning period the first period of the day? This still doesn't solve the problem - as the students are sleep deprived during second through sixth periods too.

Beginning with next year's ninth graders, students can't have a late arrival or TA period anymore unless they're doing Running Start or have high school credit from middle school. (TA periods are only worth .25 credits per semester.)

Melissa Westbrook said...

"For HS students it is really too late to interact with parents,.."

If a later start is what prevents interaction between child and parents, then we're all in trouble. But, we all know that a pretty big red herring.

Again, like enrollment plans, no one transportation plan will make everyone happy.

Anonymous said...

With Seattle's 6 period day, school sports are like a 7th period PE class. Maybe it would be different if PE fit into most students' schedules, but it doesn't. To talk about student health, blah, blah, grit, blah, blah, and then be dismissive of sports, well, it's craziness.

-so on

Anonymous said...

Hale has had later start times for over a decade. It hasn't hurt its sports participation. Lighted fields work great and winter sports are inside (Gymnastics, Swimming, Wrestling, Basketball). Also, with a 2 tier bus schedule, the school buses will be able to take kids to meets and games at a later time.

HP

Anonymous said...

Hale's end time is currently 3:10. Check back with us next year when the release time is 3:50.

big difference

Melissa Westbrook said...

PE is not sports. The issue of having PE credits is an important one but it is not the same as athletics.

HP, quite true - Hale makes later start work for athletes.

Anonymous said...

Many, many students use school sports for PE waivers.

-so on

Lynn said...

Schools also allow academic waivers for PE. Take six classes per year at Garfield and you don't have to take PE.

Anonymous said...

ugh, arguing about 2 tiers?!?! you've got to be kidding me! i've been reading this blog for a long time, and this is the FIRST WIN in YEARS.

yay for 2 tiers!!! let sanity prevail at SPS.

mag mom

Too late said...

Wait until the very vocal moms on Facebook have kids in MS and HS. This may be a win in theory but not in practice. MS and HS getting out at almost 4pm is pure insanity. This year has been great. SPS had to mess with it by adding the 20 minutes to the day, eh? Is there any way to get that change removed?

RPM said...

Yes, Hale made it work with a 3:10 release time. 3:50PM is way too late for MS and HS. This is all a problem because of the weekly early release and 20 minutes added to the day.

Anonymous said...

Moving to 2 Tiers is a great improvement. No one is arguing about 2 Tiers.

The concern is about the end time creep over the last year. Next year, HS will be ending even later than this year's 3rd Tier schools! For all those 3rd Tier families that sucked it up thinking MS/HS would be the end of it, well, we hope you've adjusted to your new normal.

-endless insanity

SusanH said...

Lots and lots of MS/HS families are celebrating the later start for their teens. It just is so much healthier for their natural biorhythms than getting up at 6 am.

I don't see what's so outrageous about a 9 am - 5 pm day. That's what typical office hours are for adults...

Anonymous said...

Seriously?? You are now justifying it by saying it's no different than an adult schedule? First, they're kids, and second, the "work" day doesn't end when they leave school. They still have hours of homework and studying.

-so on

Anonymous said...

I suggest parents thank the district for their advocacy and a move to 2 Tiers, but also forward their concerns about a late release for MS/HS. Ask about evaluation of this year's bell change. Has there been an increase/decrease in tardies? What about anecdotal reports from students and teachers? How much class is now missed by student athletes? The cumulative changes - bell flips, extended day, and early release - will shift the end time a full 90 minutes. I doubt the vocal proponents of the bell time flip will admit to any shortcomings of the change, and will simply repeat the refrain "You can't please everyone."

Anonymous said...

With Hale's late end time, my kid did sports year round and was able to get in studying as well as working on the weekends. Kid graduated with a 3.8 GPA and is now successfully attending college with a 3.5 GPA. Got an A in calculus no less. Kid couldn't fall asleep until after 11 PM no matter how hard they tried. Being allowed to sleep until 7 AM was very helpful.

HP

RPM said...

HP-Hale will get out at 3:50PM next year. What time did your kid get out? I'm pretty sure Hale's day was never until 4pm.

Endless Insanity and Anonymous at 12:51pm are correct.

I hope people do as suggested above and thank the District for getting two tiers, but let them know 3:50 is too late for MS/HS. They need to get rid of the extra 20 minutes a day and weekly early release. It'd be better to have a 1/2 day off per month.

Anonymous said...

Changing the start time just shifts the schedule. Twenty extra minutes does change things, but no more than metro adjustments do. I don't see how 20 minutes makes it impossible to get physical activity during the rest of the day. If secondary students end up sleeping more hours then they probably needed too. And maybe that means changing some ECs. If adults are home & want to spend time with them while kids are still doing ECs, great go do their EC's with them.

2- tiers makes school hours more workable for families than 3 tiers.

I certainly agree that homework needs to be cut back. We know the research on that one too.

-HS Parent

Anonymous said...

My kid was at Hale until 6 PM most nights. Some nights, they went from Hale to the gym and weren't home until 9 PM. Homework was done from 9 - done on those nights. Getting up later helped a lot.

The biggest problem will be the competition for the fields with the Parks Department. Hale's field, Raider Field, is used by lots of groups.

HP

Anonymous said...

Comparing a 3:10 release to a 3:50 release and telling parents it will be just fine? Did your child need to bus to school, HP? Sounds like your child won't even be impacted by next year's change. While I am happy things worked out well for your child, how can you even speak to how it will be for students next year?

-not comparable

Anonymous said...

I am all for late start (8:30 - 8:40 am), but 9:00 am is too late. Student athletes will miss school beginning at 1:30 pm to get to games. That means missing their afternoon classes. I feel blindsided by this change in start time and extension of the school day until 4:00 pm. Maybe games should only be on Wednesday when there is early release.- NP

RPM said...

Since HP is not answering the question, I will. Hale's day is 8:40-3:10pm. Bordering on the perfect schedule for everyone I've seen comment! 9-3:50pm is not OK and not the same as getting out at 3:10PM.

Anonymous said...

How many parents are even aware of this change?? The Seattle Times article only mentioned the new (again) start times, not the new release times. Spread the news, and if so inclined, have your MS/HS child write to the Board as well.

12:51anon

RPM said...

I can say with almost 100% certainty that none of my friends are aware, 12:51anon. I just informed my husband who's appalled. I agree, we must inform as many as we can.

Anonymous said...

Agree with RPM. 3:50 release is too late and not an insignificant change. What happened with the district promise of predictability?
-POP

SusanH said...

"So on": No. I'm justifying the later start time for MS/HS based on the many, many research studies about how to get the best outcomes for teens, along with the extensive community outreach and surveys that SPS conducted over the last two years.

And you are right; comparing it to a typical adult workday doesn't make sense. Teens are much more "night owls" than adults. The biorhythms for adults swing back to an earlier sleep/wake schedule.

RPM said...

I hope everyone above making reasonable comments will write to the school board and inform as many of your friends as possible before it's too late. I need to at least wait until the red in my face goes away before I send my note! I know this isn't true, but it feels like we successfully advocated for reasonable schedules for MS and HS kids and SPS didn't like it. So, they are punishing us by saying, 9am start comes with 4pm dismissal, you wanted late start times for your teens, remember?

RPM said...

By the way, I'm not arguing against a later start time. I don't think anyone upset about this schedule is arguing against later start times for teens.

I'm arguing against pushing 8:45am to 9am, adding 20 minutes to the end of the day, and adding a weekly early release. Those three things add up to a 3:50PM dismissal for all MS/HS kids in SPS. That's getting home around 5pm. That's my beef, not the later start time. This year for my oldest has been so perfect. Figures SPS had to go ruin it. My youngest is still subjected to the 9:30-3:45pm schedule, but there's more flexibility with younger kids.

Anonymous said...

I try not to ascribe bad intent where incompetence might really be at play. As with many SPS decisions, they are based on a kernel of good intentions, with little thought given to unintended consequences. There seems to be little follow-up to determine if the change actually provided a net benefit, so we get stuck with the change, good or bad.

A very vocal group of parents pushed through the change, despite suggestions to wait another year, knowing additional changes were in the works. The impacts of earlier starts on elementary students were ignored. Sports and afterschool activities? Dismissed as secondary, even though there is a strong correlation between school involvement and student academic success. If you read some of the studies used to support later times, many of the schools had starts of 7:00-7:30 and moved to closer to 8:00. No surprise that they saw improvements, but it's what we already had!

I will admit I was never in support of the flip, but am especially bothered that it now has morphed into a 3:50 release for MS/HS. 3 bleeping 50. We are seriously considering Running Start as a means of escaping this insanity and salvaging the last few years of high school. Classes can be scheduled from 8-12.

-seeking balance

Anonymous said...

Why do people keep saying Hale gets out at 3:10 when they get out at 3:15? Anyway, it seems the issue that is making the day so late is the one day a week early release. Without that we could likely release a bit earlier. Let's get rid of that! Bellevue and Lake Washington School District have it on Wednesdays and most people don't like it but have accepted it. We should nip that in the bud asap! I do like the idea of a half day early release per month.

I do think that Pegi McEvoy and her group did spend a lot of time on making two tiers work, because that is what people wanted, so a big thanks to her for not giving up!

BT

Anonymous said...

You mean we could possibly have a half day early release once a month in lieu of the extra 20 min/day + Wed early release? Was that under consideration?

Oh, SPS. You could make it so much easier on everyone.

What's making the day late is the flip - let's be honest, okay? - but agree that a monthly early release makes more sense than the 20 min extension/short Wed combo.

Anonymous said...

I don't have much sympathy for complaining about late start times for high schools. My kids are in a Tier 3 elementary school. This year, high schools got the late start for themselves, but screwed over some of elementary in the process. You want a late start...you got it!! Why should elementary kids be going to school until 3:45 in the afternoon.
Just Stop!

Anonymous said...

Just Stop is right. Moving to 2-tiers pulls elementary schools out of the unfair time slots they had this year. They deserve this. I am just glad that staff persisted in finding the funding to make that right.

-HS Parent

greater good said...

HS Parent, just stop is not right - actually factually completely incorrect as is your comment. First, there are only a very small handful of schools in tier 3. Elementary schools are not, for the most part, being pulled out of an unfair time slot since the vast majority of them aren't changing times! It's the middle and high schools and, I think, 3 elementary schools that are switching.

High school kids shouldn't "get screwed over" just because just stop thinks her kid got "screwed over" in ELEMENTARY school by having a tier 3 start. Petty and short-sighted talk. Plus, I can find 10 other elementary parents who'd claim their kid was screwed over by being in tier 1. The only folks in ALL of SPS not complaining are tier 2.

What's the time slot SPS got rid of in this proposal? The MOST desired - current tier 2! So, we're all screwed.

Anonymous said...

Let's not blame SPS here. There were a lot of vocal parents, as well as Liza Rankin at Soup for Teachers who pushed this proposal without thinking through all of the implications for MS and HS. SPS should have kept the schedule AS IS for 2017-18 and changed it for 2018-19 when Core 24 goes into effect. 3 different bell time schedules in 3 years is extraordinarily disruptive to families and school communities.- NP

SeattleMomma said...

Kill the extra 20 minutes/Weds early release insanity!!

Melissa Westbrook said...

NP, please put your moniker either in the name area or on a separate line. I should not have to hunt for names.

As well you can "blame" advocates for the later start but to say they didn't consider all angles isn't something you can say. You don't know that and I certainly know that one teacher had worked on this for years and did consider the angles.

What you can say is perhaps the district didn't do due diligence (in your opinion) but you are welcome to go back and review Work Session presentations to see what they missed.

We're going to end this thread here.