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Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Later Start Times for Middle/High Schools Group to Meet

Our group will hold a meeting on Monday 5/14 at 5 pm at the Wayward Coffee House at 65th and Roosevelt (parking available off the alley of Roosevelt Court just west of the coffee house).  Our plan is to prepare a presentation to make to the School Board at the 5/16 meeting.  We hope to get a speaking slot in order to present our petition.   

We are teachers, parents, and sleep experts who want to see a transportation and school start times that put student's needs first!  Please join us.  

Here's a link to our petition.

60 comments:

mirmac1 said...

I encourage someone to review some of the supporting docs provided when the new bus contract was approved. You'll get # routes, cost per ea. etc.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to hear more about whether any of the folks advocating for later MS/HS start times have kids involved in sports activities. The dismissal of the sports demands & the suggestion that sports practice occur in the morning instead seemed glib to me.

I know my own to-be middle schooler has sports schedules that would be incompatible with school end times of 4+ o'clock (especially combined with homework).

Our current schedules do mean leaving for school at 7:30 AM, and nothing gets done in the morning. In the afternoon, are several sports, other activities, and homework.

I don't have a strong opinion, and I think that different interests will inevitably have to balanced (sports should trump other needs). But I hope that you have someone with practical experience with after school extra-curriculars participating.

(It can't be me -- we don't use the school busses)

(zb)

Anonymous said...

The only teens I know who want to sleep late are those who stay up late on Facebook and start their homework at 10:30. It's more a matter of self-discipline than biology. I think High Schools should start at about the same time that most colleges and employers will expect them to be there in the morning. We should not start school later and penalize kids involved in afterschool sports or jobs with such a late start time. Those who can't be bothered to set an alarm clock will still show up late with the new start time. Kids who want to sleep in should just go to Nova.

-skeptical

CCM said...

My thoughts are mixed re: this issue.

Our kid is handling the 7:50am start time ok this year - but the thought of moving that to 7:30am seems crazy to me. He gets yellow bus this year - but won't next year (metro) so that will likely add a bit of extra time to his morning routine so we are talking about leaving the house around 6:45am (which is not as bad as a lot of people will have it who live further from their school).

However, being able to come home at 2:40pm and do homework before heading off to sports practices/games really helps him to have the evenings free and not have to stay up too late to get homework done after sports.

Ugh - my choice would be to leave it close to where it is now or move it slightly later - but not excited about a 4pm release time.

Anonymous said...

ZB,

I think that when you say "sports should trump other needs" you are saying that some people may have the opinion that sports are more important than other after school activities such as music, drama, etc. But I think that we can all agree that ACADEMICS should trump other needs including bus/bell times and after school activities. The simple solution is instead of school from 8-2:30 we change to 8:30-3 or 9-3:30. Sports and other activities can start at 3:30 instead of 2:30. The benefits of improved academic performance and test scores (due to increased morning sleep time for teenagers) far outweigh any estimated increase in transportation cost.

- RB 1986

Anonymous said...

Did I miss something about a 4 end time? Currently high schools which begin at 8 end at 2:30. So if they began at 8:30, wouldn't they end at 3?

Wondering

Maureen said...

skeptical, anecdata is meaningless. There are actual scientific studies about teen sleep patterns.

Other school districts have late starts for High Schools, we don't have to reinvent the wheel. There is a thread about this on College Confidential if you want to read through more stories. As far as I can see, Districts with late starts still somehow manage to field sports teams.

More close to home, my kids get up and get to school and function, but they have lots of stories about kids falling asleep in class, or just not showing up until third period. Even my kids, who don't do a huge number of activities and get sent to bed at a reasonable hour admit to dosing through first period and often don't eat breakfast because they just can't stomach it at 7 a.m.

alxdark said...

Our issue with the start times, having one student in middle school, and one in elementary school, is that they are already an hour apart and this proposal would spread them further apart. Our family has to do a split shift right now to accommodate this, and I myself spend 3 hours getting kids to school before I even roll into work. Next year would be worse.

I'm starting to wonder why we don't just cancel all bus service except for students with special needs. That's what the neighborhood schools were about, it would save a lot of money, and it would kill this problem outright.

TechyMom said...

I think we should look into cancelling bus service to neighborhood schools. We should continue to provide it to kids with special needs (including SPED, homeless and gifted). We should also continue to provide it to elementary option programs, to keep access to those programs equitiable.

But, neighborhood schools are close enough to walk or bike. If they're not, when we redraw boundaries, we should make it so they are. I could see providing transportation for kids more than 1.5 (or 2?) miles from school but in the attendance area as a transitional thing. Crossing guards at dangerous intersections have to be cheaper than busses.

Once we do that, then we can schedule school based the needs of students, rather than logistics for minimizing the cost of bussing.

Anonymous said...

Maureen, what are these "scientific studies" then? All you provided were more anecdotes. I have teenagers too and those kids who fall asleep in class are the ones boasting of being out late or on Facebook the night before.

-skeptical

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

cross posting.
I saw this in the comments on the petition site last night... helped put the cost in perspective. (

"$1,000,000 (savings per year) divided by 47,000 (number of SPS students) = $21.28 savings per student per year divided by 180 (number of school days per year) = less than 12 cents saved per student per day. Not much of a payoff."


katie

Anonymous said...

It may very well be that some colleges have classes starting at 7:30, but I can tell you that at UW 7:30 and 8:30 classes are very unpopular with students, and most faculty members know that attendance and learning will be compromised by scheduling classes at those hours. I am the associate chair of a large department, and we do not schedule classes at 7:30 and very rarely at 8:30.

rara avis, early bird

Anonymous said...

Oops, I really didn't mean to say that "Sports should trump other needs." I meant Sports *shouldn't* trump other needs -- they all need to be balanced. And, yes, I agree that academics should trump everything else (though we do have to figure out a way to balance the books, it should be done thoughtfully).

(zb)

Anonymous said...

I was inspired to do some research on sleep & school performance. Here are some cites (all available in full text form at pubmed). My quick conclusions are that the data are fairly strong that adolescent sleep patterns are disrupted, that the disruption contributes to poorer performance in schools. The disruption is also correlated with school start time (though the data on the strength of this relationship, and the relevant start times was not fully fleshed out). In addition, other factors, including computer use are also correlated with disrupted sleep patterns.

Clin Med Insights Circ Respir Pulm Med. 2011; 5: 71–79.
Published online 2011 October 20. doi: 10.4137/CCRPM.S7955
PMCID: PMC3212860
Sleep Insufficiency, Sleep Health Problems and Performance in High School Students
Xue Ming,1 Rebecca Koransky,2,3 Victor Kang,2,4 Sarah Buchman,2,3 Christina E. Sarris,2,3 and George C. Wagner5

Sleep. 2009 March 1; 32(3): 334–341.
PMCID: PMC2647787
Evaluation of a School-Based Intervention for Adolescent Sleep Problems
Lynette Moseley, M Psyc (Clin) and Michael Gradisar, PhD

J Pediatr. 2009 March ; 154(3): 426–430.e1. doi:10.1016/j.jpeds.2008.08.035.
Sociodemographic and behavioral predictors of bed time and
wake time among U.S. adolescents aged 15–17 years
Kristen L. Knutson, PhD1 and Diane S. Lauderdale, PhD2

The Impact of School Daily Schedule on Adolescent Sleep
Pediatrics 2005;115;1555
Dubocovich
Martha Hansen, Imke Janssen, Adam Schiff, Phyllis C. Zee and Margarita L
Pediatrics 2005;115;1555

(zb)

Anonymous said...

Skeptical -- I was skeptical too, but I think the main conclusions of the sleep info are more than anecdotes. As an example, one of the studies above says that a hour earlier start time is associated with 25 minutes less sleep (which causes a measurable disruption of sleep & of performance).

I did not find such a number for facebook time (for example, it's quite possible that an hour more of facebook time also reduces sleep by 25 minutes) and that the two are pretty much trade-offs for each other. They might not be, though both might influence sleep. But even if facebook was a direct tradeoff, schools and society controls the start time of schools, and we can't control facebook time. If the consequence of earlier start times will be increased drop outs, decreased attendance, decreased performance and increased car crashes, that's something we need to deal with at the level that we have control.

(and, I say this as someone who also likes having the afternoon block of time and who thinks that it's a parent's job to control screen time and set bedtimes, even for adolescents).

(zb)

Anonymous said...

Skeptical -- I was skeptical too, but I think the main conclusions of the sleep info are more than anecdotes. As an example, one of the studies above says that a hour earlier start time is associated with 25 minutes less sleep (which causes a measurable disruption of sleep & of performance).

I did not find such a number for facebook time (for example, it's quite possible that an hour more of facebook time also reduces sleep by 25 minutes) and that the two are pretty much trade-offs for each other. They might not be, though both might influence sleep. But even if facebook was a direct tradeoff, schools and society controls the start time of schools, and we can't control facebook time. If the consequence of earlier start times will be increased drop outs, decreased attendance, decreased performance and increased car crashes, that's something we need to deal with at the level that we have control.

(and, I say this as someone who also likes having the afternoon block of time and who thinks that it's a parent's job to control screen time and set bedtimes, even for adolescents).

(zb)

Maureen said...

skeptical, you are right--I was being lazy. zb, thanks for doing my job for me! I know I have read more layman oriented articles that give an overview of the studies with references, I'll try to dig them up. (A UW Biology prof gave a talk at RHS last year that convinced me.) I know someone posted several links on one of the other threads here, I'll try to gather those and repost them here when I get a chance. (Unless maybe someone from the Start Times Group has already pulled all this together and posted it somewhere?)

Maureen said...

Here's a link to a University of Minnesota Study.

The overview says, in part:

Two Minneapolis-area school districts decided to shift secondary school start times to 8:30 a.m. or later based on emerging medical research showing adolescents have a natural sleep pattern that leads to a late-to-bed, late-to-rise cycle. Medical researchers found this cycle is part of the maturation of the endocrine system. From the onset of puberty until late teen years, the brain chemical melatonin, which is responsible for sleepiness, is secreted from approximately 11 p.m. until approximately 8 a.m., nine hours later. This secretion is based on human circadian rhythms and is rather fixed. In other words, typical youth are not able to fall asleep much before 11 p.m. and their brains will remain in sleep mode until about 8 a.m., regardless of what time they go to bed.

....initially Edina parents were concerned about the effect of later starts on such logistical issues as busing, athletics, and child care for younger students. But at the end of the first year of implementation, 92 percent of respondents on a survey for Edina high school parents indicated that they preferred the later start times.

Additional data from the study done in Minneapolis schools showed that there was a significant reduction in school dropout rates, less depression, and students reported earning higher grades.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, zb. The Moseley study you cited does not mention or advocate for later school start times. It's about schools educating adolescents about the importance of getting enough sleep as part of a healthy lifestyle (which I think the better remedy).
Teens need to get themselves to bed on time, so they can do well in school.

-skeptical

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

My concerns with this petition and the agenda of the group advocating for later start times for middle/high school is that they want young children to go to school at 7:30 instead. My POV is that no child should go to school in Seattle at 7:30. 8 should be the earliest start time.

SRA

Anonymous said...

(post got eaten I think?)

There is this study too
Later Start Time Might Be Boon for Test Scores, Study Finds

http://www.educationnews.org/k-12-schools/later-start-time-might-be-boon-for-test-scores-study-finds/

http://educationnext.org/do-schools-begin-too-early/

katie

Maureen said...

Here's a New York Magazine article and a New York Times article, for people looking for a less technical overview.

I can't seem to load anything from The National Sleep Foundation (which is quoted on several sites I've seen), maybe they have closed down? Here's a Stanford University site that links to lots of (old) research and articles(I haven't followed any of those.)

Done for now!

Anonymous said...

Skeptical -- you're ignoring the clear evidence in the other studies that an earlier start time had a significant effect on sleep patterns. I included a variety of studies (there's also one that shows a decrease in car accidents after start times were delayed).

I agree that education on better sleep habits is a good thing, but in the Mosely study, overall, the education increased knowledge but didn't result in better sleeping. In fact, the conclusion of the study (though written in mealy-mouthed language) is that sleep information is insufficient to change sleep behavior, and other methods will be necessary.

(zb)

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Oh, and to ignore the scientific debate, and talk about transportation, I think they need to go back to drawing boards on this one. As someone else said, maybe 3 tiers of bus routes can't work for Seattle, given traffic and other constraints.

I do agree with the questioning of 7:30 start times for young kids -- most of the data is on adolescents, but that doesn't mean that 7:30 start time don't disrupt the learning in younger children as well (just that it hasn't been well studied).

Oops, that was me, zb

Anonymous said...
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kelstar said...

Here's a link to a League of Women Voters of Marion and Polk County Oregon study on the issue of school bell times. Here's an excerpt that addresses many concerns....


"In 1999 North Clackamas School District in Oregon changed its high school hours from 7:30 a.m. - 2:20 p.m. to 8:45 a.m. - 3:20 p.m. after high school principals had been recommending a later start for a decade and the district had studied the proposed change for a year. The issue was that high school students simply were not awake for early morning classes because they needed more sleep. To offset the later high school start time, the elementary schools started earlier. The transportation issue was settled by interchanging the high school bus route times and the elementary school bus route times. There was concern that the younger children would have to wait for the bus in the dark during the winter, but no problems occurred. The only real problem that occurred was that, in order to meet long-distance athletic competition schedules, sometimes students would have to leave classes early. The benefits, however, were improved attendance and an improved GPA in the first period classes for high school students. The result is that everyone likes the change--the students, the parents and the community--and the district has kept those hours."

Jan said...

Anonymous: the "tiers" are 3 "tiers" of school bus schedules for different schools. If you go back to Melissa's May 1 post, the variation presented in the board materials is posted (I tried to copy it here, but the formatting was pretty scrambled). There were also at least two other alternatives (laid out in prior posts/comments on the transportation issue), and now Eric's 2 tier proposal. Hope that helps get you up to speed on the background.

Anonymous said...

Running a school district by petition is so indicative of the complete leadership vacuum in SPS.

To be at this point is absolutely ridiculous. Who screwed up so badly that the transportation issue got to this point?...Yes, name names. Who is in charge? Enfield is on her way out but is still collecting a very solid paycheck. Why did the transportation guy bail?

The school board simply does not owe any allegiance to those with such complete incompetence.

While this fiasco goes on, the teachers of your children are in the process of being evaluated as innovative, proficient, basic or unsatisfactory.

With one sweep, the district could get rid of MAP and save a small fortune. It could cancel the Gates grant. It could get rid of the double standard that is causing the performance of teachers to get picked over with a fine toothed comb, while the rest of the district should be evaluated as beyond repair and in need of complete transformation.

You cannot have a functioning school district when one link is over-evaluated by insidious means, while the administration can continue to produce such rubbish and emerge with their six figure salaries intact.

Bravo to the community for stepping in to clean up the wreck. But c'mon! Where's the justice?

--enough already and then some

Rufus X said...

@SRA - To be clear, as posted on the thread titled "Transportation Alternatives Offered" (Tuesday May 8, 9:06 AM):

"As parents, we propose an alternative system. Under the proposed system, all schools would be divided into two tiers of bus arrival times. The first tier would serve only K-5 elementary students, and would have a target arrival time of 8:00am. The second tier would serve all remaining elementary schools plus K-8, middle, and high schools, and would have a target arrival time of 9:00am. Departure times from schools would be approximately 2:35pm for the first tier and and 3:35pm (elementary) or 3:55pm (secondary) for the second tier."

Though the petition itself does not expressly address K-5 or K-8 start times, I believe the intent of the 2-tier alternative is so NO school starts at 7:30 - this is not an attempt to pick WHICH schools start at 7:30.

Anonymous said...

Some of the research is available at
school start time studies

Other research is available at the national sleep foundation website which has been down this afternoon.

Later start times for adolescents decrease tardiness, decrease absenteeism, decrease school nurse visits, increase homework completion rates, improve academic performance, decrease teen car accidents. Also studies at the sleep foundation website show evidence that moving school start times later increases participation in after school sports and improves team athletic performance.

-high school parent

Anonymous said...

Well, the word from an insider in transportation is that the current lead proposal they will show on Friday WON'T have the early start times for MS/HS, but will move the Tier 3 Elementary times even later, with start times AFTER 10am. How is that possibly going to work for working families? At the end of the day, West Seattle APP kids wouldn't be dropped off until after 5pm (but probably later since they'll be in rush hour traffic under this plan). Transportation won't release this proposal until Friday because they don't want any more feedback which might force them to have to come up with something else.

No Common Sense at JSCEE

Someone said...

Ok - I haven't said anything, because I didn't want to get the people I know who work in transportation in hot water, but this is getting ridiculuous.

1. It wasn't "staff" who came up with the 3 tier idea - it was 2 people, who came from small districts using 3 tiers and refused to listen to line staff input on why the 3 tier system was neither prudent nor practical for Seattle.

2. The "transportation guy" didn't "bail" - he was in fact, shown the door. Admin will not admit to which of the rumored methods actually happened - the party line is that he was RIF'd (during spring break no less). Staff, who had not one but 2 no confidence votes against "the guy" in last 3 years, believe he was given a choice - resign or be fired. It had zero to do with his family tragedy and everything to do with his being over his head and extremely uncommunicative.

3. From the moment "the guy" was brought on board, he rarely spoke to any of staff. He was infamous for not attending meetings, not readind and/or answering his email and could not read a spreadsheet to save his life.

There are good people in that dept, people who have cared and been trying, in every way possible to get things back on track. I am sick to death of them being smeared with a tar & feather brush, when those 2 people, and those 2 people alone are responsible for this mess.

end of rant

kelstar said...

Here's the Bellingham Superintendent addressing this issue last year:

http://www.schooltube.com/video/7d15ef8909e00ad4032d/Start-and-End-Times-Proposal

Love the clear presentation of the problem, the transparent thought process and community engagement. His plan calls for flex-time for high school students, elementary school students start at 8:30, middle school starts at around 9:15.

Eric B said...

Someone:

I'm not surprised that people in Transportation thought that this was a bad idea. However, it can only be called a staff proposal, since the staff brought it forward to the Board for review. The people in charge who reviewed and approved it may not represent the opinions and beliefs of the staff under them, but it's still a staff proposal.

Someone said...

That's rather beside the point Eric - but it's still neither accurate nor far to paint the ENTIRE department black because of the actions of a very very few.

Anonymous said...

I have to correct myself and say that earlier start times are associated with disrupted sleep patterns in adolescents (not have an effect on, which implies causation).

(zb)

word said...

For those who want to view some of the peer reviewed research, click on http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/
to access the National Library of Medicine. In the search box write "school start times". Use quotations to get that phrase. You will find a number of research articles finding a strong correlation between earlier school start times and disrupted sleep patterns, poor school performance and even automobile accidents.

Unless you are a member (student/faculty/staff) of a University you may not be able to access the articles but I am and have sent some of them to the school board.

Anonymous said...

I'm a senior this year, stumbling on to this I have to say that middle and high school needs to start later. I go to bed at 9:30 every night because if i don't i'm not going to get up on time the next morning. It doesnt even feel right going to bed that early, or waking up that early the next day. I dont believe any student wants to get up at 6:30 every morning, with our sleep patterns thats the equivalent of getting up at 5 for you. The argument is that there are extracurricular activities that need to happen, Ive been in football and track and i can tell you that there's plenty of room to push them back. Just do them a favor and support it.

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't the times be more reasonable for all if we went back to a 2 tier system (with some elementaries on the frst tier)?

Rather than trying to work with the 3 tier system, let's push for a return to the 2 tier system. An 8:05 start for high schools and middle schools worked. A 9:05 start for elementaries worked.

-stop the insanity

Anonymous said...

Pushing the third tier elementaries even later, besides being awful for kids and parents, would further increase rides times due to the increased traffic at rush hour.

-please, stop the insanity SPS

dw said...

I'd rather this not get deleted, from 3:48pm
--------------------------
Anonymous said...
I'm a senior this year, stumbling on to this I have to say that middle and high school needs to start later. I go to bed at 9:30 every night because if i don't i'm not going to get up on time the next morning. It doesnt even feel right going to bed that early, or waking up that early the next day. I dont believe any student wants to get up at 6:30 every morning, with our sleep patterns thats the equivalent of getting up at 5 for you. The argument is that there are extracurricular activities that need to happen, Ive been in football and track and i can tell you that there's plenty of room to push them back. Just do them a favor and support it.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Thanks DW; I was going to do the same thing.

I love to hear from students.

dj said...

No Common Sense, are you serious? I have the kind of job where I don't have to be in at the crack of 9:00, so the fact that my kid's school starts at 9:30 hasn't killed us yet, but 10:00+? Really? That will be abysmal for working parents.

Anonymous said...

I played soccer at Garfield and practice started at 4:30 - most games were after 5:00 - as late as 7:00 for many. So it is certainly possible to have sports and a later start time.

- student/athlete

Anonymous said...

I dunno... my brothers all had early morning paper routes during their high school years. When my parents were kids they milked cows and fed chickens on the farm at the crack of dawn. Somhow we all made it to school on time every day, graduated, college, turned out ok.

-skeptical

Anonymous said...

I dunno... my brothers all had early morning paper routes during their high school years. When my parents were kids they milked cows and fed chickens on the farm at the crack of dawn. Somhow we all made it to school on time every day, graduated, college, turned out ok.

-skeptical

Anonymous said...

I've heard many times about how start times affect after-school sports, but rarely about zero-hour activities. I'm not sure what else happens during zero hour, but I can tell you it is already a huge challenge for high schoolers to have jazz band practice at 6:50. 6:20 just sounds cruel. You have to wonder how many kids would be able to stick with that.

word said...

Skeptical - I will admit, I have a hard time following your logic.

You stated:

"I think High Schools should start at about the same time that most colleges and employers will expect them to be there in the morning."

That time would be 8-9am NOT 7:30am. Furthermore, that time would be consistent rather than changing every year.

If you are advocating for a consistent start time for SPS's then "hallelujah". I think we would all agree with you. The rage and disgust expressed by the posters here (that you appear to disdain) is not as much for any particular time per se but for the capricious manner in which the Seattle district complicates the start times - leaving some families with children starting school 2 hours apart. Furthermore, they change the start times every 1-2 years - a serious complication for working families. We had to pay for before school care just to accommodate one of the districts capricious timing resets. In addition the district - in its infinite wisdom - sets the younger kids at later times and the older kids at early times, when the opposite arrangement would make more sense. That, for most of us, is the final straw.

I'll bet the school district didn't change the time of your paper routes every year. Maybe you wouldn't be so complacent then.

mirmac1 said...

Someone, you may be right about that other someone. He did save $2M, but he overpromised and the Board uber mgrs (who profess not wanting to micro-manage!) are mad because they were expecting a fat check for $4M.

The current staff came up with this stinker. And I have little faith in their numbers. And by staying in their silos, nobody looks at the added staff costs, reduced achievement, impacts to before and afterschool activities, disrupted work schedules, longer routes when those mega elementaries get buil so that the district could cut a secretary FTE or two.

Who is looking at the big picture. Did Enfield EVER DO THAT? She gave the illusion of being competent, but then these, I don't know what to call them, "bimbo eruptions" keep popping up!

Anonymous said...

@end of rant

Thanks for the inside scoop. But who are those two mystery people in transportation and why on earth are they being given license to fashion ill-considered proposals? Is there a new head yet down there?

-curious

Anonymous said...

"Word" your petition is not universally supported by all parents. High schools have started at 7:45 for generations. Since you asked, back in the 70's they didn't just switch our start times, from year to year they switched our assignment to a different school! We somehow got ourselves and our younger siblings to school on time, no ride in mommy's car, and after school we played sports and had JOBS. Teen biology hasn't changed, it's the attitude of helicopter parents that won't teach their kids to go to bed on time. I checked all these "scientific" citations are based on a single study by one psychologist. No wonder employers complain about kids nowadays being unfit to work! Are you gonna call Boeing and tell them 7:50 is too early for your little Johnny to be there too, LOL. Parents need to be the adult, buy your kid an alarm clock and teach him to use it. It's part of growing up to get yourself to school on time, and no you don't get to tell the school what time that should be LOL.

I agree with the elementary school parents whose start times really would be much too early or too late under this plan.

-skeptical

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Anonymous, shame on you for calling names, so now I'm "bitter" because I don't agree with the petition? hahaha (Your post is gonna get deleted because you didn't sign it, but you probably don't agree with the rules here on the board either)

-skeptical

mirmac1 said...

Yeah, anonymous, that was a sucky comment. skeptical is entitled to her/his opinion as long as it doesn't get personal. I think the "helicopter parent" remark was meant in a general sense.

Anonymous said...

What district starts any school as late as 10:00? Where else do you have 2.5 hours between school start times? That's the lunacy of it.

Anonymous said...

Skeptical,

Of course all parents do not agree on when school should start for adolescents. Children are different & we each think that our own personal experience typifies the group. I go for a run at 4:30 every morning because it works for me. I never use an alarm clock; that is just when my body is ready to go. I am tempted to assume that it would work equally well for anyone else. I try not to think badly of others who can't seem to get out of bed before 5 to go to work or get exercise or do their chores. I do find store hours very inconvenient.

Evidently it is your experience that it does not matter what time school starts because you can wake at anytime and be equally alert. That's great. I wish I could be that way. However I don't drive or do my taxes after 9 at night, because I am not equally alert at all hours and no matter what time I go to bed I wake up around 4:00. I could work an evening job if I had no choice, but they would not get the productivity from me they would get earlier in the day.

Moving start times later will not work best for all students. Districts who have moved start times later have seen improved average academic outcomes. Evidently more kids learn best at certain hours of the day. Moving start times 50 minutes later was equivalent to raising teacher quality by 1 standard deviation. (Carrell, Maghakian, & West, A’s from Zzzz’s? The Causal Effect of School Start Time on the Academic Performance of Adolescents, supra, 3 AEJ: Econ. Policy 3, p. 80.)

The district should do the math. Is it cheaper to move start times or pay for academic coaches or teacher improvement plans for a similar outcome?

-early riser

Anonymous said...

I think that the bottom line is that families need to know what the starting times will be for their kids.

If administrators from the building and/or JSCEE want to have a meeting BEFORE teachers are supposed to be there, this will also be a problem.


Other issues:
Substitute staff (teachers, SAEOPS, and paraprofessionals) may choose assignments with preferred starting times.
Why?
Staff, especially teachers, still have to be at school 30 minutes before the students do.

Teachers, nurses, and paraprofessionals assigned to two sites may have difficulties if assigned to schools with different start times.


This will also be a problem for school administators who might have to do the work or support staff as well as engaging in more teaching as they wait for substitutes to arrive.

This is about process.


--Old School Music