Friday, June 01, 2012

Bell Times for 2012-2013

Interim Superintendent Susan Enfield sent out an email today with a link to the school bell times for next year.

Here is her message:

Dear Seattle Public Schools families, 
Today I am announcing bell times for the 2012-13 school year. After hearing feedback from staff and families, we worked hard to keep the majority of next year’s start times consistent with what is in place this year. 
However, there are six schools – View Ridge, Wedgwood, Bryant, McGilvra, North Beach and Adams – that will see their bell times moved as much as 30 minutes later for next year. 
These new bell times are a result of changes to transportation for the 2012-13 school year. The School Board voted to move forward with a transportation plan that includes longer yellow bus ride times (up to 45-minute rides) but has minimal impact on bell times. We needed to implement new start times at these six schools to continue our three-tiered bus plan (where staggered start times are required so that one bus can make three trips between schools). This change will save the District between $300,000 and $500,000, allowing us to keep further budget cuts away from the classroom. 
We know changing bell times is not ideal. We also know that many members of our community would like us to consider later high school start times and earlier elementary start times. This has major ramifications for high school students, including after-school jobs and athletics, as well as before- and after-school child care for elementary school families. 
We are committed to thoroughly studying these ideas, but we ask for your patience as it will require considerable time and public involvement. The District will work with families, staff and our current transportation task force to tackling these long-term issues, with recommendations expected for the 2014-15 school year. 
The full list of bell times can be found online at http://bit.ly/12-13-Bell-Times. Please let me know if you have any questions. 
SusanSusan Enfield, Ed.D.Interim SuperintendentSeattle Public Schools


mirmac1 said...

Gee, did they fix that irksome preschool start time misalignment issue?

Anonymous said...

It is amazing how many elementary schools start around 9:30 am

BTW can someone explain to me why some schools start at 9:25 and others at 9:30 but both type of schools end at 3:35 (like Lowell and Loyal Heights)?

Bell struck

Po3 said...

Not changing the Bell time is what irks me. The longer bus ride means earlier pickup times.

And just so you know - no later HS start times coming anytime soon due to "major ramifications"

mirmac1 said...


Pls explain? I thought the new nifty Task Force needed to study this issue.

Eric B said...

I'm hopeful that we'll have later MS/HS start times for 2013-14. It might not pan out, but I think there is enough horsepower behind it at the Board level that it will come through. Besides, where else are you going to find a program that impacts test scores approximately as much as the achievement gap while costing less than a million or two?

TechyMom said...

We're at McGilvra, one of the schools with the new later start time, and I think it was a good choice. We have a fairly small attendance area with a lot of kids walking, and only 3 or 4 busses. Our bus ride is currently 10 minutes and the bus is about 60% full most days. I expect they will consolidate the routes, and the the trip will get a little longer. That will make our bus pickup 10 or 15 minutes later than it is now, probably around 8:45. That shouldn't be a terribly large burden on anyone. I don't know if the same is true for the other schools chosen, but at least this one was a good choice.

Po3 said...

"We also know that many members of our community would like us to consider later high school start times and earlier elementary start times. This has major ramifications for high school students, including after-school jobs and athletics, as well as before- and after-school child care for elementary school families."

They say they are committed to"study" the issue and then hold tight for the 2013/14 school year for recommendations.

Won't happen.

Anonymous said...

@Techy mom: "That shouldn't be a terribly large burden on anyone."

For working parents whose have conventional working business hours, the new late start times are a huge burden. It is hard to fathom how they could pull something like this. This is not helpful for working families. Not all of us can go out and get nannies to get the kids to school mid morning.

Working parent

Anonymous said...

@ Eric B: If you think early HS start times will happen in 2013-14, I've got a high-priced house in Vegas to sell you.

>Much of staff is resistant
>Only some of the current board wants it
>The change would have to be finalized this fall in order to plan for the following school year
>We have a new superintendent

Not going to happen.

Won't happen the 2014-15 year either unless there is a ridiculous amount of public pressure.


Anonymous said...

@Techy Mom,

With a small attendance area most kids don't need the bus, so those parents don't get to use the bus as their substitute childcare. Regardless of your school, 9:30 start times can be a huge challenge for working parents--and that extra half hour can be the difference between a barely acceptable work schedule and one that just won't fly...

mitt said...

I have heard that Magnolia gets a special yellow bus to Ballard High because the Metro bus is too full. Does anyone know -- is this true? and is this funded by SPS?

If so, it raises serious concerns -- why would the district be asking several schools to sacrifice by changing bell times in the name of saving transportation dollars while spending money to provide yellow bus service to people living in Magnolia? Does anyone out there know the facts on this Magnolia deal? Please let us know if this rumor is incorrect.

Anonymous said...

Mitt-- what Micheal DeBell wants, Michael DeBell gets. It's good to be King (and good to live in the king's fiefdom) . I've heard there is also an Ingraham shuttle too to service the Magnolia IB kids.
--signed scared and scarred

Anonymous said...

Whoa ,hold up there..... There was no special treatment from debell. I think it is correct that there is a bus from magnolia to bhs, but only b.c the students were taking metro (like all other hs kids) and bus after bus was full, passing them by, very early in the am... And the result was lots of kids getting to school late on a regular basis b.c metro couldnt pick them up, so SPS worked to troubleshoot a solution so kids could be at school on time.

Pretty sure there are other schools and areas w a similar fix, but can't recall them just now. They were identified in one of the transportation threads I think.

(mag mom)

Maureen said...

In defense of Magnolia, we now have a neighborhood based assignment plan because parents wanted predictability. Queen Anne HS is 'condo-ized.' We can't really assign kids to high schools that they have to take four Metro buses for two hours and walk three miles in the process (note: made up numbers.)

We got predictable assignment at the price of extra special stop gap buses (and other things). Classic case of SPS not bothering to determine the 2nd order impacts of their decisions.

In defense of DeBell, the same things happens for Laurelhurst kids going to Roosevelt and Broadview kids going to Ingraham and many many kids going to Cleveland.

Anonymous said...

I hate this new bell schedule. We now have an elementary start time of 9:30, and a release time of 3:35, and after school activities that start at 4pm one day, and 5pm the other. I really hope next year's teachers do not mind late homework those days, and my boss will let me push back my start time back another half-hour. Again. Not sure what the hell we will do.

Why can't we just be normal, and have normal start and release times, like other districts??? So many disrupted schedules, and for what? Pocket change, by this district's standards. When are families really going to matter?


Anonymous said...

Make that seven schools.

Thornton Creek had been notified mid-year that they were moved to the 8:20 tier. Now they are at 9:30.

So that means the ridiculously overcrowded NE gets to deliver the transportation savings. I would ask why the schools that are already so over burdened have to give more, except that I don't think there are any schools left that haven't been over-burdened.

another pissed off ne seattle family.

GreyWatch said...

I wonder if SPS bothered to consult the metro schedules to make sure the new HS start times aligned with popular routes. Actually, I don't wonder. I'm sure they didn't.

Looks like very early mornings for kids that need to transfer buses.

dw said...

Maureen said: In defense of Magnolia, we now have a neighborhood based assignment plan because parents wanted predictability.

Not to take away from the rest of your comment, but I don't believe the original premise. There were certainly some folks that were in favor of predictability over programs and flexibility, but I don't think it was ever a majority.

We got neighborhood assignments because Goodloe Johnson wanted to make her mark in this town. Quickly and steadfastly. As with most of her changes, the new SAP was about standardization and "equity". To heck with ANY special program or special needs. Every student can be handled in any school by any staff and by any teacher.

Of course this is preposterous, but we're on a path to her ideal, which is the equity where NO ONE gets a great program anymore. I hope many of her ill-conceived changes get undone with new management.

TechyMom said...

coming back late to this thread...
I still think that McGilvra was a good choice, regardless of whether it's convenient for me personally.

McGilvra has short commutes, high-quality onsite before and after care, before-school language classes, and a population with more flexibility (both in time and money) than many other schools.

On a day when your child has after-school activities, you may need to pick them up at school rather than at the bus stop. Or, you could take advantage of the Kids Time activities, after-care, and soccer right at school. Again, not every school has these options.

This change probably means that I will be paying for before-school care (or mandarin class) one or two days a week. Most families at the school can absorb that, where the same can't be said for families at, say, Gazert or Madrona. I'm ok with taking one for the team here.