District Seeks Input on Added 20-Minutes to School Day

The district is conducting a survey on the mandated 20-minutes more to the school day.  The survey is available at your school in a paper form as well as on-line. The link provides charts that show the different options.

All surveys need to be completed online or due back to the school by October 21.


Anonymous said…
All options are lousy because all option have either one hour early dismissal or one hour late arrival one day per week. How is that supposed to work with childcare? Adding 100 minutes per week by lengthening the school day, and then taking 60 back out makes no sense. Why not just add 8 minutes per day? If the purpose of this idiocy is to make teachers sit in more meetings, why can't the teachers stay late or come early once a week? Why reschedule 53,000 students instead of 3200 teachers?

Mom of 4
Anonymous said…
If you agree, please note that you would like this time to be added for recess at the elementary school level. WAC, RCW 28A.150.205, and the WA. State Board of Education interpretation, http://www.sbe.wa.gov/faq/instructionalhours.php#five clearly define Instructional Hours to include recess.

I am angry that they are asking my 6 year old to sit at a desk 20 minutes longer next year. I would like to point out that the extra 20 minutes was only put into the contract at the insistence of the Mr. Nyland. The teachers were against this, as it added unpaid hours to their contract. I believe Mr. Nyland and SPS can find a way to remove it if they wish.

Research is showing over and over that sitting still at a desk for long periods at a young age is actually counterproductive to learning.




Please let them know you disagree with this!!!

-NW Parent
Anonymous said…
The survey posted by the district combines the 20 minute issue with returning to a 2-tier start/end time system. That part of the survey is not being advertised but families need to know this is a chance to weigh in on the inequitable impact of the current 3-tier system. Don't forget to advocate for these families and schools who have been stuck with an unreasonable 9:30 start time.

alex said…
Mom of 4, well said.

Why is there always some big change underway with SPS?

They knew this was coming, so why did they forge ahead with changing the bell times for this school year? Why not wait and make all needed changes in the same academic year? It's not like it was urgent that HS start 35 minutes later ASAP...come on.

If there could be a worse way to manage a district, I am not sure I can imagine it. Maybe hire some more suits at JSCEE to study the matter? Why not just get things right the first time, SPS?
SPS Mom said…
I am quite sure that the 3.8M figure for going back to two tiers is a first year cost only. I believe that the transportation money that comes from the state (or feds, I can't remember which), is based on previous year's transportation levels, so the first year is a big jump, but in subsequent years, the cost to the district would drop back down. Am I correct?
Anonymous said…
The charts posted on the district web site do not all show the correct times for the options they are supposed to illustrate.

Mom of 4 is completely right that a once-a-week early dismissal or late arrival is ridiculous.

Anonymous said…
Once a week early dismissal does happen on Mercer Island I believe. Of course the socio-economic situation on Mercer Island looks nothing like Seattle's, which means the childcare and after/before school enrichment and sports programs schedule complications are less of a burden on that overall population.

It would be helpful if staff could show the Board and the families of the District another comparable Washington district or two, with similar demographics, which have implemented this measure and could provide us all with some information as to how those districts chose their "best" before/after school schedule and day of the week to implement this measure.

This is another significant school upheaval and the Seattle community needs more information.

Anonymous said…
The kids at Hale love late start Tuesdays as do the teachers. It gives the teachers a chance to collaborate and plan their lessons together. It lets the Biology teacher, history teacher and LA teacher coordinate their lessons such that they are studying Darwin's theory in all three classes at the same time from a science, history and literature perspective. It was a win win for our family.

Anonymous said…
Am I missing something?

The elementary school day is 6 hours and 10 minutes long. Most people work 8 hour days. This leaves almost 2 hours every day where teachers could schedule planning and collaboration time with their teams. Even if they did that for the proposed 1 hour per week (and I'm assuming this is in addition to the monthly 2-hour early dismissals and full development days that are already utilized), it leaves time for personal planning, grading, and preparation. If instructional time needs to be added to the school year, why do we have to achieve this by adding 20 minutes to the day? Why do we need to take 4 weeks off during the school year? Or why can't the school year be extended into summer?

I find it excruciating that families have to continually take the brunt of these crazy schedule ideas and upend their work and childcare schedules not to mention some consistency for the kids.

-Confused working parent
Anonymous said…
I concur with HP's comments regarding Hale's late start. It works great for high schoolers, who are/should be capable of getting themselves to school. It might not be a great option for working parents of elementary or middle school kids.

I am so confused by the two-tier/three-tier thing. I thought I heard that SPS was going to go to two-tier busing next year???

-North-end Mom
Outsider said…
I heard somewhere that Highline does weekly one-hour early dismissal. But not whether anyone loves or hates it.
Yes, I've heard talk about an early dismissal day at least twice a month or more.
Sigh said…
Lots of districts do a weekly early dismissal. I believe Bainbridge Island is another one in Washington, and several districts in the Bay Area have this as well. Not saying I love it, but it is pretty much the norm now in many places.
Anonymous said…
Bellingham has an early dismissal once per week. Regular late starts / early dismissals aren't uncommon, but they haven't been done here yet on a district-wide basis.

Northwest Owler said…
Yes, but the Bellevue schedule (at least at one elementary school) has a two hour early dismissal on Wednesdays:
- M-T-T-F: 8:00 am – 2:25 pm
- Wednesday: 8:00 am – 12:05 pm

I would be in favor of a schedule like that, but I dislike the early dismissal or late start of only ah hour. Make it mean something, and make it an amount of time a family can use.
Bruce B said…
Many things are complicated by this plan to have one day shorter than the others:

- Bus schedules
- Childcare
- Sports & clubs
- Lesson planning - now HS periods are 50mins; I guess they will go to 53mins 4 days and 43mins 1 day, which means lesson plans, tests, classroom routines, etc. need to be made with this difference in mind.
- Everyone's brains who have to keep track of this

It sounds like people in other districts deal with this, but it would be more logical to add 8mins to every day, and have teachers take the collaboration hour one day per week out of time they would otherwise spend on lesson plans, grading, meetings, etc. Total hours would be the same under either approach. I'm all for treating teachers nicely but this seems like a disproportionate amount of hassle for students and families.

Anonymous said…
Lake Washington School District (Redmond and Kirkland) has an early dismissal (about 2 hrs) every Wednesday. Many parents there would prefer to not have it or at least have it on Friday, but since the childcare available in the area adapts to it there isn't a big disruption. One positive thing about it is that it is convenient for dentist appointments etc so your kids don't miss any school. If I had to choose for Seattle I'd prefer a late arrival on Monday to get more sleep!

Anonymous said…
As a teacher in SPS any additional meeting time that is district directed (and this will be district and admin directed) always ends up in tail chasing futility. Redoing what we have already done and never doing what we need to get ahead. What this will be is for assessment planning only....but why then have an SBAC or MAP? This was the last straw from Nyland in the last bargain. He had to get something or it would be clear they got pummeled in the bargaining. The only way this makes sense is to extend recess. Making another hour of useless meetings only satisfies the bureaucrats and drives more teachers from the district and profession.

This is only for the ego.

Anonymous said…
Blech, your words have great wisdom. Stressing out parents and exasperating teachers, its what SPS central office does best.

Anonymous said…
Hale has a different schedule everyday. The Tuesday schedule is different. Monday and Friday are the same and Wednesday/Thursday are the same. They don't have all the periods everyday. Monday and Friday have all the periods. Wednesday has periods 1/3/5 and Thursday has periods 2/4/6. I am not sure what Tuesday is. The kids like the variety instead of the same thing day after day.

Anonymous said…
Shoreline looked into this last year and decided to continue with more entire non-student days for staff needs.


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