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Friday, June 21, 2013

Start Time Petition

There are lots and lots of great reasons for Seattle Public Schools to swap around the start times for school so that elementary school starts earlier and middle and high school starts later.

A group called Start School Later Seattle has is looking for a resounding show of support for moving secondary schools to a later start time. They have created a petition. You can express your support for the effort by signing the petition athttp://petitions.moveon.org/sign/later-start-time-for?mailing_id=13345

48 comments:

Lady Astor said...

Aren't start times spelled out in the teachers' contract?

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

Tired, I'll reprint your comment but in the future, two-word name or less, please.

"I'm going to open a can of worms - but the push for later HS start times seems to be a concern of those who, by and large, have enough resources to neither need income from their HS children just to pay rent, nor need their older children to provide care for younger ones.

Before the last boundary change, our home mapped to a less affluent neighborhood school than it does now, and there were a few middle/high schoolers who waited for their elem. age siblings at the end of the day while parents worked. I imagine in other areas of the city this is even more true. Who will get those kids if start times flip, putting elem age kids out first? And maybe it's kind of dated of me, from the era before unpaid internships were everything, but I remember working -- as did many, many of my friends -- at restaurants after school was out. B/c high school was out early enough, I could still do activities/homework AND get to my 4 pm dinner shift. How's that work with later start/end times? Will the less financially advantaged kids who have to work, really HAVE to work, be completely unable to do anything else after school, and be cut off from school activities?

Later HS times aren't necessarily popular with everyone. Let's try to think outside our own experiences."

First, the research shows that teens who have later start times, are more alert and do better in school. (And, one study showed lower number of teen driving accidents.)

The main reason for any district to make such a change is academic outcomes and that's the push.

Second, the push against it comes largely from parents with students in athletics and after-school activities (not so much work-related). I understand and hear what you are saying and it's all true - jobs and siblings are important.

But if the teen has a job, who picks up the sibs? Or, if the teen has a job, is an hour+ more at the end of day going to cut into work hours that much? If they work, they aren't doing after-school activities anyway.

Anonymous said...

Everyone always seems to bring up the high school after-school activities (i.e. sports), but no one mentions zero-hour (usually music). Getting to school by 6:50am is really difficult -- try it, and be ready to play an instrument for an hour! A later start time would really help these kids out. And couldn't some sports do before-school practice, especially with a later bell time?

tk said...

Sorry, I would not sign the petition, either, unless it would be only for middle school students. In recent years, the start times for middle & high schools have shifted a bit later (my 1st kid started middle school at 7:30- agreed too early), but having high schools start not earlier than 8:30 just is not realistic for most students and how much they need to cram into the day.

But look at the current schedules- almost all of the high schools start at a reasonable 8:00am time frame (a few at 7:50am). Four HS start later- Hale, Sealth (because of the Denny staggered start agreement), Nova & Center School at the 8:30 range.

Middle schools almost all start at 7:50 except Denny at 7:40 (again, restrained by the Sealth co-habitation agreement). K-8 middle school students all start later, on the elementary schedule.

True, it would be nice if no secondary schools started before 8:00am, but when you start switching bell times with elementary schools, it looks as if the start times would be closer to 9:00am or 9:30. Keep in mind that secondary schools are supposed to have 6-1/2 hrs (instead of 6 in elementary), so the end time would be way late at 3:30 or 4:00pm!!

HAVE YOU SURVEYED students and parents with middle and, especially high school students currently? What about community engagement from ALL schools (and not just Hale students). I think you might be surprised to not find much support from current high school families for this plan.

Anonymous said...

tk,
I have kids in middle and high school and I would love a 9:30 or 10:00 start. They are just not ready to be awake and thinking at 8:00. A 3:30 or 4;00 dismissal would leave less time for teens to get into trouble before parents are home from school too.

Lynn

Jamie said...

I have a high schooler and feel as Lynn does. Happy to sign this petition.

Anonymous said...

My daughter just graduated from a private high school with an 8:10 start and 3:30 end. She had plenty of time for after-school activities and homework (can't address the argument about having to babysit sibs or work a ton of hours to help out the family).

She was able to get a decent night's sleep and had enough school hours to get a lot of credits. Academically she did great. I can't imagine how she would have done if she had had to get up at 6AM or earlier. I also agree with Lynn—getting out at 2:15 or so is too early. Gives teens too much unsupervised time on their hands.

Solvay Girl

Melissa Westbrook said...

"HAVE YOU SURVEYED students and parents with middle and, especially high school students currently?"

No,have you?

Sorry, but how sure are you that every other school but Hale wouldn't want this? Until the district itself asks that question, we all only know what we hear.

TechyMom said...

I didn't sign the petition, even though I agree with the general idea. 8:30 is still too early. And, most of the discussion I've seen about this topic suggests switching the start times, so that elementary school would start ridiculously early. No child should be required to be at school before 9:00. 10:00 would be better for teens, with optional things like sports, band or the school play at 8 and 9. I'm all for before school childcare and enrichment classes for families that need to be at work earlier.

Eric M said...

This is a great idea. I'm so pleased. Out of all the ed-reformy, no-research-behind-it ideas that have been bouncing around, this is one of the few that actaully has SOLID research behind it. 1st period at my high school is an academic disaster, in my class, but not just in my class. I'm a morning person myself, but 1/3 of my students are late on any given day. That's very challenging.

Want better academic outcomes in high school? Start later. THAT works.

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/sleepless-in-america/201102/do-later-school-start-times-really-help-high-school-students

Eric B said...

TK, The Minneapolis school district changed the start times for secondary students a few years ago. A year later, ~90% of parents said it was a good decision. Can you remember the last time any school district decision in any district had 90% support?

The difference in achievement by starting secondary students later is about the same magnitude as the achievement gap. What boggles my mind is that more people inside and outside district admin aren't pushing for this as hard as possible. Why wouldn't you grab a benefit that size that can be done for virtually zero cost?

SPS will put out a survey later this year. One thing that has concerned the SSL group is that initial discussions from the district have all been about the negatives, not the positives. That may skew the survey.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to those who put this petition together! I signed with gusto and forwarded it to others I know who will appreciate this effort.

Proper rest is fundamental to the ability to learn-- which is why kids are in school in the first place, right?

When I wake my middle schooler up at 6:30 it is absolutely clear that this schedule is not in her best interests-- not in terms of health or academic success.

Clearly teens' bodies are wired for a later sleep time than this schedule allows them.

RK

old salt said...

Academic improvement has been documented in districts that moved start times later & the most improvement was seen in the kids who were performing lowest.

school-sleep-student-performance

Also decreased dropout rate, absences, tardies, school discipline, & nurse visits. Had no affect on after-school sports participation rates. But associated with lower sports injury rates & improved athletic performance. Also kids who have more sleep are more efficient & get their homework done faster. sleepinfairfax

And not school related but decrease in depression & anxiety, decrease in teen car accidents, decrease in teen violent crime,decrease in cold & flu rates, decrease in obesity & sleep disorder rates. high-school-startingtimes

Sports & jobs should be secondary to school for teenagers. It seems unfair that all students must attend school early so that some can play sports at an earlier time. If some teen is an early riser, nothing would keep them from doing their homework at 7:30am before school, without demanding that every student be academically engaged at that hour.

I agree that 10am would be better. Or even better would be a flexible schedule like Kay Smith-Blum suggests. However the above research shows that improvements are seen at 8:30 so I’ll support that.

tk said...

Eric B,
Thanks for the info about a SPS survey in the works. To be effective, it needs to lay out the actual start & end bell times and bus pick up/drop off times for all the school levels (elementary/K-8, middle & HS) if switched, so families can visualize the reality and impact of the change.

Will elementary families actually want their kids waiting for a bus at 6:45 or 7:00am in the morning in order to be a school for a 7:50am start to their day?

I guess it's all a trade off (and no, Melissa, I did not say that I'm sure that every other school but Hale wouldn't want this)- my point is why not use a survey with clear information about the trade-offs (through the PTSA for example, it doesn't have to come from the district as their surveys tend to be slanted) to find out if there is support from families with students at all levels being impacted.

A petition simply stating to change start times to no earlier than 8:30am for secondary schools and no information about elementary time changes really does not give the big picture, for families to consider.

Anonymous said...

As a parent of both a middle schooler and elementary students, I'm torn. I would support the later start time for teenagers in a heartbeat except for the fact that the District wants to implement a three tier bus and start time system. My understanding of the direction in which the District is heading is that as a result, the first tier schools, which would be elementary schools, could start as early as 7:30 am. Since buses are scheduled to arrive 20 minutes before start time and since bus ride times for option schools can be up to 60 minutes, that means that some elementary kids would have to be at their bus stops by about 6:10 am. I'm sorry, but that's just too early for elementary school children to be standing outside in the dark waiting for their bus. I also think that starting school at 7:30 am is too early for elementary students -- my children's K-8 school has an 8:20 am start time now and even that is challenging for a lot of young kids.

I'd love the later start time for my teenager too, but I think we all have to look at the bigger picture. If we had a two tier bus system, I think I could support flipping the secondary and elementary school start times. But, with the District intent on a three tier bus system to save on transportation costs, I think we'd be creating an unsafe situation for elementary students.

I'd ask those who are advocating for this change to also ask the District to have only two bus tiers. Then, I could support the effort, but not at the expense of our elementary students.

Middle school and elementary parent

Anonymous said...

A 7:30 start time for my elementary student would be a train wreck--so as much as I would like to advocate for a later start time for my middle schooler I can't support this. How can we get them to do away with the three tier bus system altogether?

--be reasonable

Anonymous said...

Be reasonable,
Money, money, money. Find extra $ for the school district to pay for transportation, then they can go to a two tier system. If the bus drivers are paid more than starvation rates, then they might be more willing to work the part time or split shift schedules required for a two tier system.

CCA

Anonymous said...

I don't know what other parents' children are like, but there is no way I could ever get my children up at 6 for a 7:30 elementary school start time. NO WAY! And judging by the huge number of parents rushing into school one minute before the start bell at my kids' school every single day, I am not alone.

CCA

TechyMom said...

A 3 tier system could still work with reasonable start times of 8:30, 9:30 and 10:30.

Anonymous said...

I can't sign for fear of what may happen to the elementary start times. My elementary aged kids sleep for 12 hours per night. I can't very well put them to bed at 6pm every day, they wouldn't see their father Mon through Friday.
ts

Anonymous said...

10:30?! A 6.5-hour school day starting at 10:30 would have a release time of 5:00, then commute time would put them home around 5:30 to 6:00. Once again, 10:30?!

We used to have a two-tier bus schedule. Middle schools and high schools started around 8:00 and elementary schools started around 9:00. I much preferred the 9:00 start to the 9:30 start. I can't imagine it being any later.

Anonymous said...

Yes 10:30. School day ending at 5:00 leaves six hours until an 11:00 bedtime. Six hours is plenty of time for commute/homework/dinner/exercise. They'd be able to use the time more efficiently if they weren't so exhausted too.

Lynn

TechyMom said...

Yes, 10:30 to 5 would let teens get the sleep they need, and have them get home around the same time as their parents, so they wouldn't have time to get in trouble after school. Elementary at 8:30 and 9:30. We're at a 9:30 school, and it's great. We're almost never late, have time for breakfast every day together, and even any homework that was forgotten the night before. My kid wakes up cheerful and without an alarm around 7:45 or 8:00.

We can fit in a before-school language class, for which we're often late, and which we skipped for most of January and February because getting up before dawn just doesn't work. If school stared that early, we'd be late every day. I guess we'll have to home school math and skip first period in middle school.

Btw, 7:30 and 8:00 sound as impossible to me as 10:30 does to you ;).

Anonymous said...

See, but it's just as difficult for middle schoolers to get out the door as elementary kids, plus they are not biologically able to learn, which elementary aged kids are. Their sleep schedules are malleable in a way that teens' are not. Either way you have to find some care-our 9:30 start would not get me to work before 10 without care. I am the least morning person you have ever met, and right now only have elementary aged kids, but am appalled our district is letting all these free academic gains go. For every family the current schedule is better for, there's one the swapped one would be for, plus our kids would be educated better.

-sleeper

Anonymous said...

Sleeper,
If middle-schoolers and high-schoolers are biologically unable to learn before 10:30; how is it that HIMS APP is bursting at the seams, and almost all of the Ingraham kids who applied for admission to the UW this year got admitted? I read on the Times that 30,000 applied this year, for 4,150 slots at the UW.

CCA

GreyWatch said...

8:30 seems like a reasonable compromise for high school. The 10:30 start time, or even 9am for that matter, will never fly unless it is a system wide change (e.g., other districts and private schools get on board).

As the parent of two teenagers with an 8am start time and a 40 minute/5 mile commute (and that is with us giving them a ride to the metro stop) a little more time in the morning would be great. Too much time and they will probably just stay up later.

I agree with whoever said this could all be solved with proper funding. Zero hour periods and staggered/tiered start times are cost saving measures that we shouldn't have to work around.

Anonymous said...

I am on my phone or I would happily link you all the research on the academic gains whenever school start times move later! There is tons-just google a little. Up thread someone mentioned that the change when districts make this swap and no other is as big as the achievement gap. Inceedible, and disproportionately helps struggling kids. Just the kind if thing we should be doing.

-sleeper

Anonymous said...

Won't sign the petition, not with such an early start for ES kids. Agree with 2 tier start, but if no money, then stick with current times. The high schooler works 2 days a week so 5 pm HS end time is too late as he's saving for college and gaining good work experience. Working has been a good reality check for this kid and we've watched him matured quite a bit as he gained confidence dealing with real world situation and juggling responsibilities.
Old parent



Anonymous said...

How many buses run to high schools anyway? Isn't it mostly Metro at that point? What really is the cost of switching high school times? I realize 10:30 would not be ideal for many families, but 9:00 would be a good compromise.

While I can see that a part-time job can be an important way to build independence, I think we should set school times to maximize academic gains.

Lynn

Melissa Westbrook said...

"If middle-schoolers and high-schoolers are biologically unable to learn before 10:30"

No one said that. I really dislike when discussion escalates into this kind of all or nothing.

No one said kids can't learn before 10:30 am. But the research is there that teens have a harder time falling asleep and getting up (thus not getting enough sleep) to learn to the best of their ability (ask any high school teacher).

But sure, most of us had a zero period and it was hard but, for me, that was a choice. My belief, based on the research, is that all high school should start at 8:30 am or later.

To remind folks, the district doesn't have to provide any transportation except for Special Ed students. It's not a legal requirement and our district actually spends far more than other districts.

Anonymous said...

We see academic gains with HS work experience. It's applying many skillsets and knowledge base - time management, multitasking, networking, team building, problem solving all while working and getting paid. Already it has translated to FT summer job with a small promotion and pay raise. Not to mention, working helps round out a college application and a happy boss willing to provide glowing reference. The money is not as substantial during the school year, but FT summer pay is going to be a big help for college expenses and less debt for all.

Old parent.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the importance of work and the skills gained from that experience. Though this seems to be a larger health issue as well (esp when you take into account the recent studies on the health effects of sleep deprivation overall)

Here is one great article which has an especially neat graphic "Mismatched Sleep Cycles" showing the melatonin, wake, sleep patterns in adults v. teens aligned w/ a typical day. Understanding the Zombie Teen's Body Clock

And another on increase in test scores with a later start time (study in Wake County, NC)
School Start Times Found to Affect Student Achievement

-katy.did

Melissa Westbrook said...

I will gently point out one thing again; school should - at the very top of the list - be about academic outcomes.

Not sports, not after-school activities, not work, not childcare.

Academic outcomes.

If parents believe all these are equal or the district should consider all these equally, that's going to be tough because every family has a different view depending on their situation/outlook.

However, if the district says that everything they do is to drive better academic outcomes for all students, that should lead to the answer.

I would also gently point out that these are not real considerations/issues in Europe or Asia. Not sports, not music, not jobs. It's about school.

Dan Pickard said...

Dear Superintendent Banda,
On this lovely (near) Summer Solstice day, I was dismayed to read in the same paragraph that you called of a rational consideration of a later start times for our adolescent students that you made false statements regarding easily checked Sun/Earth astronomical facts. You wrote: “It also means that elementary school students would be waiting for buses in the dark during much of the year.”

This is a false assumption that has been raised before but is simply untrue given the facts of Seattle’s yearly astronomical data.

I teach science at a SPS high school including courses that include Astronomy and Earth Science.

There may be legitimate reasons to object to a later start times for some Seattle Public School students however our student spending more time dangerously “waiting in dark” is one not of them.

Even on the shortest day of the upcoming school year December 20, 2013 daylight statistics on that day show your public statement regarding daylight and darkness hours to be incorrect.

We have science and solid evidence to help “illuminate” this particular aspect of the later start issue. I feel you/we are obligated to apply these facts in our decision making.

The change in start times does not increase the time SPS students would spend waiting “in the dark” for buses in the morning or after school, even for those students on our longer school bus routes.

The most authoritative source of this information comes from the US Naval Observatory (USNO) and the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). And can easily be accessed at the USNO website.

For Seattle, Washington (longitude W 122.3, latitude N 47.6):
Friday, December 20, 2013, PST
Begin civil twilight 7:18 a.m.
Sunrise 7:54 a.m.
Sunset 4:20 p.m.
End civil twilight 4:56 p.m.

These are the US National Standards accepted by Federal, State, local governments and public institutions around the country.

"Civil Twilight" is the critical vocabulary term relevant for all of our SPS stakeholders to know. The US Government defines “civil twilight” as: “The time at which the sun is 6 degrees below the horizon. At this time, there is enough light for objects to be clearly distinguishable and that outdoor activities can commence (dawn) or end (dusk) without artificial illumination.”

Highly significant is also that within 30 days (much on Winter Break)of the shortest day of the school year in Seattle the civil twilight, sunrise and sunset times in Seattle are so far from our bus schedules that daylight is clearly not a relevant issue for most all of the school year. For example:

Thursday, February 20, 2014, PST
Begin civil twilight 6:35 a.m.
Sunrise 7:06 a.m.
Sunset 5:41 p.m.
End civil twilight 6:12 p.m.

Compare the start and end of Civil Twilight to SPS school bus schedule: start time change of up to 1 hour do not require our students to spend an increased amount of time “waiting in the dark” for their buses coming to or going home.

In fact as elementary school buses arrive in the morning only 10-15 minutes prior to the start of class and our high Schools always with a bit more lead time... the proposed change for later start for our adolescent students would mean slightly less time(by 5 -10 minutes) for SPS students(i.e., all grades) waiting in the earlier part of the day. You can find a PDF of next year's school bus schedule and start times at the SPS website under Transportation and compare it to daylight statistics for the US Navy/NOAA.

Before you make statements about other “major ramifications for high school students, including after-school jobs and athletics, as well as before-and-after-school child care…” I suggest you check the facts and consult with the available educational research sources. Perhaps directly contact superintendents of comparable districts across the US - as many have made these kind of changes. Find out what their experience has been before making such dire warnings? Did they experience those negative things you mentioned?

Anonymous said...

In Europe, Asia, and even Canada, application to universities and affordability work a bit different than USA. The talk about preparing all students for college, yet many who are accepted are finding cost to a good university is becoming more and more a prohibiting factor. While we complain these same people who want to innovate and reform are missing salient points like home environment, I argue it applies here too. The second poster made an important point about older kids having to work or take care of younger siblings. Some of you may see that outside the purpose of this discussion and school start times, yet the reality is that's what happens. Kids do need to work and help out in the homes. It was a factor to the design of our school year schedule as a agrarian society. We continue with this schedule even though less than 3% us actually work on farms. If you want late start time for HS because the science tells you that's best, no argument here. But provide adequate child care coverage and affordable college tuition as well so all that great sleep will produce better students with a future they can head off to and young kids don't go home alone to an empty house.

Old parent

Melissa Westbrook said...

I'm missing something - how does affordable college tuition have anything to do with high school start times?

Anonymous said...

The school year being set up to follow the agrarian cycles has been somewhat debunked, at least following the industrial revolution. Though the context of that discussion is usually around whether we should go to year round schooling.
Six Reasons Students Get Summer Off (And The Agrarian Calendar Isn’t One of Them)

Urban schools essentially ran year-round. For example, in 1842 New York City schools were in class for 248 days. Rural schools took the spring off to plant, and the autumn off to harvest. The summer isn’t actually the busiest time in agriculture.
So how did the summer term come about? According to Gold, you can attribute summer vacation to the school reformers of the 19th century, for several reasons.
Standardized school years. School reformers wanted to get rural and urban schools on the same schedule. Since rural areas had two terms – in the summer and winter – and urban schools ran year round, a compromise had to be struck. But, why summer?
In rural areas, the summer term was seen as “weak.” Gold said the summer term in rural neighborhoods tended to be taught by young girls in their mid to late teens. On the other hand, schoolmasters, generally older males, taught the winter terms. Because of this, the summer terms were seen as academically weaker.
In urban areas, rich families vacationed in the summer. City schools were trying to limit the school year in the mid-19th century anyway, to adjust to the schedules of wealthy families who would generally go on vacation in the summer.
It’s hot in the summer. The school buildings of the 19th century weren’t exactly air-conditioned. Heat during the summer months would often become unbearable.
Summer gives teachers time to train and get ready for next year. In the 19th century teachers didn’t really go to college or get certified, so Gold said they would use the summer months to train.
Doctors thought kids would need a break. This idea isn’t given much medical credit these days, but Gold said back in the 19th century it was believed medically unsound for students to be confined to a classroom year-round.

katy.did

Anonymous said...

Dan - You must be aware of the SPS 3-tier bus system. My kid goes to a tier 3 elementary school with a start time of 9:45 and an 8:45 bus pickup (40 minutes before the bell). A move to tier 1 would mean a 7:10 a.m. Bus pickup (earlier for many other kids at our school). That means leaving the house by 7:00. I checked your sunrise charts. You conveniently forget about daylight savings, which makes it very dark on fall mornings. According to your chart, my kid would go to the bus stop in the dark from sept. 25 through February 24 -- a full 5 months of the year until dawn is after 7:00 a.m. There are arguments on both sides of this issue and kids are stuck coming or going in the dark much of the year on our 3 tier system. But your "scientific" argument that kids won't be at the bus stop in the dark simply doesn't hold water.
- I can read sunrise charts too

Anonymous said...

Thx Katy.did for the info. As to why does HS start times have anything to do with work and saving for college? 10:30 start with kids out at 5 makes it harder to fit in an after school job.. With the cost of college these days, that means all of us in this family need to work, be frugal, and save to pay for it. It gives our kids a reason to study hard, work hard, stay focus, and out of trouble. All our kids, many of their cousins, and friends work whether from their home, family business, or at large chain stores. Even the older cousin in college still put in several shifts at the family business while going to school full time and working a 2nd job. That's just how things are.
old parent

tk said...

The ironic side-note to the teenage sleep issue, is that teens excel in adapting to the "new norm". If the schedule is pushed later in the day, wouldn't there be the tendency to stay up later ("I'm just working on homework..."), resulting in the same school night/lack of sleep issue the next day?

Late-arrivals in high school are a good example for that- how many kids keep the same bedtime?

Anonymous said...

I meant to say a 9:25 start time.
- I can read sunrise charts too

Melissa Westbrook said...

I will remind people - but this is one of the LAST times - that you may have a two-name pseudonym or less. Otherwise your comment, cogent or not, will be eliminated.

old salt said...

This study in Minnesota in 2002 shows that kids continued to fall asleep at about the same time & got an extra hour of sleep when their school start time was moved later

"The Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement (CAREI) at the University of Minnesota conducted a study on the impact of changing school start times on academic performance, behavior and safety in urban and suburban schools (Wahlstrom, 2002)."

A similar study in Massachuessttes comparing 2 schools with earlier vs later start times showed the same thing. An extra hour of sleep for kids with the later start time. (Wolfson et al., 2007)

For more research check out the National Sleep Foundation's site

Anonymous said...

Kids of all ages, who live in Alaska & Norway manage to get the school bus in the dark or they would be missing a lot of school in winter. So there must be some way to make that work. Though I would prefer (& be willing to pay for) a two tier bus system.

I also understand the concern about work since my high schoolers work too. However, my kids work around their school schedule. For example they can never work the lunch shift on a school day. If school moved later they would work around that schedule. And if they worked too few hours to pay for college, they could work full time during a gap year (like I did) & more than make up for those missed hours.

I would rather my kids work a gap year because of fewer high school work hours than cost other kids their chance at a high school diploma. Since the research we are seeing shows a lower drop out rate with later start times. It seems that the drop out rate would be of more concern for the school district than after school work hours.

-also old

Anonymous said...

Is it possible for the district to charge for transportation? It seems it should be - as they're charging tuition for full day kindergarten. We could continue to provide free transportation to families who qualify for free/reduced cost meals. I would happily do that to get more appropriate start times - and more money into the classrooms.

Lynn

Anonymous said...

Academic outcomes. []If parents believe all these are equal or the district should consider all these equally, that's going to be tough because every family has a different view depending on their situation/outlook.


The definition of academic outcome is also predicated on family values. What does "academic outcome" even mean???? Does academic outcome mean, in the long run, earning? Lifetime earning? (Afteall, what's "academic outcome" if it isn't based on real earning power later?) Does it mean the score on some test? Which test? Does it mean a higher IQ? Does it mean "speaks a foreign language"? Any language, or just some? Does it mean "graduated"? At what level? Does it mean "went to college"? Which type? 4-year? IVY? Community college? Vocational school? Cooking school? Really, "academic outcome", on its own, is just as subjective as anything else. And the fact is that many people think of sports and job/training as an important part of academic outcome, and perhaps, even an integral part of something as nebulous as "academic outcome".

-parent

Melissa Westbrook said...

What does academic outcomes mean? To me, it is equity in trying to allow every child to meet his or her academic needs and goals.

I don't confuse learning with earning. It's important to learn skills but I would like to educate children, not train them.

Also, we now have these "21st Century skills" which cover a lot of items (and we have noted this elsewhere).

So no, the district has a description for academic outcomes.

That some Americans feel sports is as important as learning is a sad commentary.

I think job skills are part of academic outcomes but not the central part. That's just me.