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Monday, March 23, 2009

Press Release on Bell Times

Here is the press release from the district on bell times.

According to it, schools with the earlier time( "Tier 1" )will start somewhere between 8:10-8:20, "as determined by the school". End time just says "buses available at schools by 2:45 p.m.."

Schools that start later ("Tier 2") will start between 9:25 and 9:35 a.m. "as determined by the school". The buses will be available at schools by 3:40 p.m.

So, again, at your next PTA meeting, sit down with the principal and ask what your principal and staff have discussed (as they are the only ones the district mentions as who may decide this issue) for your school's start and end times.

One other thing that I neglected to mention. Mr. Kennedy did say that some schools may apply for waivers if their request didn't cost the district money. This might be Hale for example as they already have an 8:30 start time but if the district is claiming "consistency" as one of the major reasons, then there should be consistency and schools should need a major reason for any change of the proposed schedule.

4 comments:

ParentofThree said...

As a "Tier II" family our bus arrival to school is 9:30, right? But our start time could be 9:25 or 9:35. Seems to me my student will be late everyday for school, or be out of breath.

Same issue with Tier I, right?

And breakfast?

So the press release skirts this glaring issue by saying that the busses will arrive in time to "accomodate" start times. But last week they voted on 8:15 adn 9:30 "arrival times" Are we really back to 8am and 9:15 arrival times?

I am just so darn confused.

Eric B said...

SPS mom, you are not the only one. In a letter to staff from the office of public affairs ALSO sent out on Friday, they state

Middle schools, high schools and most K-8 schools (Alternative School #1, Catharine Blaine, Broadview-Thomson, Jane Addams, Madrona, Orca, Pathfinder and South Shore): Yellow buses will arrive at the schools at approximately 8:15 a.m. and depart at approximately 2:45 p.m. Principals will have the flexibility to adjust their specific school arrival and departure times within a narrow window of time in conjunction with the transportation service standards.

Elementary schools, plus Salmon Bay K-8 and TOPS K-8: Yellow buses will arrive at these schools at approximately 9:30 a.m. and depart at approximately 3:40 p.m. Principals will have the flexibility to adjust their specific school arrival and departure times within a narrow window of time in conjunction with the transportation service standards.


This is clearly in contradiction to what was indicated in the press release. So even SPS is rather confused. This is the problem with a poorly hatched idea being approved before thinking it out fully.

Jennifer said...

If the board voted on bus arrival time (8:15 for most k-8's) why has it been said that start time will be 8:15? With breakfast service this would mean that bus drop off time would be moved up to as early as 7:45. There seems to be some conflicting information being sent out to families. Also, I noticed that most k-8s will be in school for 6 & 1/2 hours while others will only be doing a 6 hour day. How will the teachers be compensated for extra time worked and will the extra time given to some schools skew the results of standardized testing results and many kids will get more instruction time?

Eric B said...

Abby, your questions are excellent ones and no one seems to be answering them. The 6 and 1/2 hours is because middle school teachers are supposed to have 6 1/2 hours of teaching time, more than elementary (they also have more planning time.) Of course the SEA contract doesn't address K-8s. It was such a shame that the board voted for this without the time and thought to the consequences.