On Bell Times/Waitlists

Update:  I must have been tired when I posted this thread.  I did leave out another key testimony.
A parent of a Special Ed student explained how their initial assignment was to Olympic Hills which would be nearly an hour bus ride from their house.  Meanwhile, just blocks away was Thornton Creek which did have the type of class they needed.  To their joy, the waitlist moved and they were assigned to Thornton Creek.  What happened next was their child, and four others, were then "unenrolled" from TC and reassigned back to Olympic Hills.

Again, that kind of jerking of assignment - of what looks like someone changing their mind and NOT considering the real children that would live with that change - is the kind of trust-buster that hurts this district.

end of update

I'll be brief because I only watched the first hour of the Board meeting and did not wade thru the director comments.

On Bell Times
Superintendent Nyland started out thanking the City for the help in paying for a possible two-tier bus schedule.

But he said that staff had heard from multiple high schools (he did not specify if he meant parents or staff or both) but he said that Pegi McEvoy and Flip Herndon would be meeting with high school principals about alternatives.

He said they basically need roughly the same number of schools in each tier to make it work.

He also said they had heard from Tier 3 folks who were glad for two tiers but it seems jarring to go from three to one. 

He said the Board would review the options as the City Council proceeded with its own work on this issue.  This item will be introduced at the next board meeting and voted on at the meeting after that.

On Waitlists
Dr. Nyland had Flip Herndon and JoLynn Berge (Budget) come up to the mic during his comments.

Herndon gave a less-than-clear explanation.

He said there is a waitlist process that they go thru each year after Open Enrollment.

He said the factors they looked at were:

- capacity of buildings
- given staff allocation currently in building, can they move in additional students?
- "equitable" impacts on schools (it would seem that whenever staff wants to change policy, they can say "equity" and believe that negates any other argument)

He noted that the impacts were greater on elementaries because they tend to work in full FTEs.

Berge merely said that sending and receiving schools felt budget impacts by the choices that parents made.

The Board was asked if they had any questions and, to my surprise, no one did.

Public Testimony on Waitlists

Multiple Stevens' parents testified (and some kids) including their PTA president,  Jennie Peabody Rhoads.

I found their testimony compelling if only because it made sense in the context of the stated policy.

Stevens is underenrolled by 90 (!) students with a waitlist of 23.  There was a waitlist as long last year.  What makes the waitlists here particularly curious is because there are many sibs on it.

How can it be a school has room in the building and yet sibs can't even get in?

What I think may be happening in Stevens' case is that the district wants to shore up Lowell and Madrona at any cost. 

It was also pointed out that the enrollment policy seems to evolve as need be for staff.  It's inconsistent because it appears some schools that are underenrolled will move their waitlists. Why would some students get choice and not others at underenrolled schools?

A Stevens teacher, surrounded by other teachers, said that the PD at the beginning of the year was about relationships.  She then asked why some relationships with children would be torn apart because of these decisions.

Again, where is the sense in saying one thing and doing another?

What was depressing were the OTHER stories from different schools.

One Hamilton HCC parent said his son had been very excited to go onto the IB program at Ingraham. Except, wait, it seems that for at least a couple of years, the number of HCC students who can go to Ingraham will be capped.  Then, that cap will be lifted.  And for some reason, other waitlists are being mixed and matched but they will not be doing that for Ingraham for the next two years.

Another parent - from Dearborn Park - said they had the same issue with sibs being separated.  They will be losing two teaching positions and may have split grades.  Is that optimal for a dual-language program?  It's not.

Kellie LaRue, capacity guru, also testified, stating that the lack of transparency on this issue will erode trust.  She made a key point that the district and the Superintendent and Board should never forget - the money they have comes from enrollment.

As well, she said that protecting teachers at some schools will probably not pay off in the end.  The district has not reached its projected enrollment for the last couple of years.  If you have a process that hurts families, some of those families may make other choices.

And if they leave, their money leaves with them.  Then NO school in the district gets it.

If anyone watched the directors' comments on this topic, let us know.

But I think the message is loud and clear - be unfair and inconsistent and it may come back to hurt the district. 


kellie said…
Thanks Mel for covering this.

Enrollment is what drives the budget and it is critical that the district is as transparent as possible with everything regarding the budget and enrollment in order to create and maintain trust. The budget shortfall for next year is truly staggering. It is one thing to face a budget cut in a recession. It is quite another in a growing economy.

Trust and Good will are often in short supply during budget cuts. This is a great opportunity for the district to build some good will. But instead the current waitlist process with zero transparency regarding enrollment caps, is creating suspicion.

The waitlists simply make no sense. While in theory, it looks like not moving the Steven's waitlist is about creating enrollment at Madrona and Lowell. But yet, both Madrona and Lowell also have waitlists. What's the point?

Split siblings is a real problem. Once a family is faced with making a choice about moving schools to keep their students together, then all of sudden a "happy customer" turns into a "shopping customer."
Anonymous said…
Are they projecting low on enrollment numbers so budget cuts hit kids and teachers before hitting downtown?

Asked 3x
Anonymous said…
As you say, Supt. Herndon said tonight that there are 3 considerations for allowing choice assignments (which we are calling waitlist moves at Stevens, since all choice applicants were waitlisted):
1) building capacity
2) staffing allocation
3) "equity"

The only one of these that I see mentioned in the Student Assignment Plan is building capacity ("space available").

Last year at Stevens, we had a waitlist of 18 kids, and more than half were siblings.
We were underenrolled by 50 kids (so we had plenty of building capacity). The class sizes were well under district caps (this year our K classes have 16 and 17 kids, respectively). But the district refused to move our waitlist, citing "equity" reasons.

So apparently this last "equity" criteria, which does not appear in the Student Assignment Plan, is now the primary criteria by which students receive choice assignments. It trumps current school of enrollment; it trumps sibling preference. By "equity," the District seems (?) to mean that allowing a choice assignment to one school would affect another school's enrollment. But that, by definition, has always been the case! Each choice assignment has ALWAYS affected another school, exactly the same as now. So that's no different from past years (and there has been no change in policy)--what's different is the refusal to make choice assignments (last year at Stevens and this year more broadly) to some schools for kids coming from certain other schools. That does not seem "equitable."

In fact, Stevens was told by Superintendent Nyland that this policy forces him to limit choice assignments to Stevens for students coming from the Madrona or Lowell attendance areas--even if those kids currently attend Stevens; even if their siblings attend Stevens. This seems extremely INEQUITABLE; in essence, it seems that the District allows choice for families assigned to highly waitlisted schools, like Stevens – saying, YOU’RE free to choose among other schools that work better for your family; but telling families assigned to schools WITHOUT waitlists, YOU have NO CHOICE, you must attend your assignment area school.

I don't see how the District can keep saying with a straight face that these are the mandates of the Student Assignment Plan that they are required to follow.

--Stevens Parent
Anonymous said…
It was clarified to me today that it's the IEP team who determines a student's placement not enrollment. If the district is trying to move a child with an IEP out of their current school then you need to ask for an IEP meeting and work with the team to keep your student's assignment.

SPED Parent
not mc t said…

that is very rich. and i won't gloat like merrimac and say that they welcomed the demise of option schools and hcc as sped was being railed against. but seriously equity is the buzz word to say STFU because this is far more important than any of your kids' concerns.

equity is now being equally used to slam everyone. no tear to my eye.

no caps
not mc t said…

and yet the district needs to move those waitlist. too many kids in our great private schools. imagine if we could have 10% of them back? seems every month a new school is popping up. thankfully we didn't sell mlk to bush. instead mgj and her cronies gave it away. play these games and that is what will happen.

no caps
Cap hill said…
A better way to create enrollment at Madrona would be for the principal there to work with parents in the feeder area. The opt out rate for that school must be over 50%...
kellie said…
Regarding Madrona.

Madrona has a waitlist. Additionally, Madrona was converted from a K8 to a K5 this year. In part, because the school is growing so quickly and they need that extra space. So something is going well enough at Madrona that families are choosing that school.
kellie said…
There was another testimony last night that was quite disturbing. A teacher testified last that one of her students at Stevens, who has been at Stevens since Kindergarten, was geo-split to another school this year.

The board approved geo-splits for middle school. However, to the best of my knowledge, the board has NEVER approved a geo-split for elementary students. A large part of the issue regarding Cedar Park this year was because the plan to open Cedar Park involved geo-splitting 850 elementary students. The board correctly felt that this was in violation of the SAP and not a way to build learning communities.

Because of all of the challenges around the waitlist, I recently went back and read the SAP to see what the original plan said. The SAP was very clear that students would be allowed to remain at their current school to the highest grade, as the new plan was being phased in. This is why board approval is required for geo-splits.

The plan was also very clear that it was impossible to guaranteed seats for BOTH attendance area students and siblings. However, every effort would be made to preserve learning communities by allowing siblings to stay together whenever there was space. This is why there is a sibling report required as part of enrollment reporting. That report is designed to track how well SPS is keeping that promise.

My suspicion is that this is likely a "clerical error." That whatever process was run to determine the geo-split students for middle school, this process somehow "caught" some elementary students who were in a boundary change areas.

I suspect a clerical error, because this case at Stevens is the first report of a general education elementary student being geo-split, without any notice. (there is a long standing issue of sped students being moved, but that issue is not a geo-split issue). It is my hope that this is an isolated issue but it would be very good for enrollment to do some investigation to ensure that ONLY middle schools students were geo-split and to reverse any elementary students.

kellie said…
I have reviewed the current waitlist. There are over 3,000 students on a waitlist at the moment. There seems to be a pretty even split between the expected waitlists at very popular choice and language immersion schools and schools with space to take those students.

Now families that are betting on a long shot like JSIS, Hamilton, Ballard or Garfield were most likely expecting a waitlist. However, families that applied for an easy choice at a school like Whitman with ample space or applied to keep their siblings at the same school are most likely frustrated.

Something the district is failing to recognize is that the families that participate in the choice process most likely feel like they have "choices." People who are either empowered or forced to make a choice, tend to do precisely that, choose.

When a family has siblings split between two schools with the same start time, that family has to make a difficult choice. If just 10% of the waitlisted families choose to leave the district, rather than attend a school that doesn't work for them, or manage a crazy split, that is 300 students not enrolled in September and another $3M that needs to be trimmed from the budget.

Anonymous said…
The Board was blatantly lied to during the SAP process when they were told there would be no need for any amendments to grandfather students at Whitman or any other middle schools, because it would be handled during the Open Enrollment process.

In light of this it is puzzling that the Board had no questions for Flip Herndon.

I hope it is a matter that it is considered "bad form" to publicly call staff liars and that it is being handled via back channels instead?

It does seem to be increasing clear that all the specifics of "choice" assignments will need to be codified by the Board as the District Staff is playing some sort of shell game with the rules (and the underlying intent) that are currently in place.

Anonymous said…
Flip hung back during the SAP process and Ashley was thrown to the wolves. It's hard to find a Flip quote from that process since he didn't engage, so you can't exactly call him a liar. The process feels deceptive and one can only hope the Board is working behind the scenes to help families left in the lerch by broken promises.

Bad form
Anonymous said…
@ Kellie

I think that kids were reassigned during the elementary school boundary changes in West Seattle a while back. This flew under the radar. I remember a Board meeting when Marty McLaren made some comment that the boundary changes only affected a handful of students, and I was puzzled, because nobody actually said they were geo-splitting kids.

In the case of Cedar Park, if SPS's growth boundary plan had not been amended by the Board, it would have been the first new attendance area elementary school opened since the NSAP to have been started up as a geo-split rather than a roll-up. John Rogers and Olympic Hills didn't find out about the plan to geo-split rather than roll-up Cedar Park until early last year, and the other north-end schools didn't find out about the plans to geo-split their schools until last fall (less than a year before it would have happened).

What's going on now with the waitlists is ridiculous, but can you imagine the utter chaos that would have transpired if the Board didn't intervene and stop the plans to geo-split almost 900 elementary school kids next fall, and re-engineer over 1/2 dozen north-end schools? All of these families, by the way, were told during various community meetings that they could apply to stay at their current school, space permitting, during open enrollment.

-North-end Mom
Old Timer said…
Student assignments, wait lists etc. have been going on for over a decade. At one point, Seattle's student assignment plan was debated in the Supreme Court.

Great comment by Director Leslie Harris! Harris asked for families not to pit one need against the other.

I wish people would stop throwing darts at this board. I'm confident they will work on this issue.

Old Timer said…
I do agree with Kellie in relation to enrollment and budget. I will also agree that the district plays games with enrollment. Let's be kind to the board, though.
Anonymous said…
Can you imagine if all those northend elementary schools had been realigned and students displaced but families believing enrollment that they could apply to stay at their current school and there should be plenty of room...only to learn there is only room for students coming from over enrolled (desirable) schools?!! It would be utter chaos right now.

Bad form
Anonymous said…
I'm almost feeling wistful about the VAX.

A choice system needs to allow parents to make an informed choice. If "space available" is a moving target, and not actually related to the physical number of classrooms available, then the Board needs to codify policy around placement in a way that allows parents to make that informed choice.

Let's hope the Board pushes back hard on the broken promises around enrollment and gets some waitlists to move.

-SPS craziness
Lynn said…

Madrona's enrollment is not growing. Total enrollment in September 2011 was 328. Total enrollment in September 2016 was 302. Without manipulating waitlists, I'd expect Madrona's enrollment next year to be about 240.

They are discontinuing the 6-8 portion of the school because it was too expensive to operate. Although only 62 students chose to attend Madrona in those grades this year, the SEA contract required the district to allocate 6 FTE middle school teachers plus 1.5 FTE middle school PCP teachers to Madrona. At a comprehensive middle school, those 62 students would be allocated 2.6 teachers. This move saves the district about $500K.

I agree that making the school more attractive to neighborhood families would increase enrollment and thus increase resources for the current Madrona students. It seems like an ideal location for an option school.
Anonymous said…
To add to Kellie's point about the District losing revenue by losing students. If a family has their elementary age students split, when it was not their choice to do so...if they do leave the District they will likely leave with all of their elementary age children, not just the one on the wait list. The loss of revenue will extend beyond just those on the wait list.

I can't fathom putting siblings on a wait list at a school that is underenrolled. There is obviously capacity, and the already present staff would not need to be riffed or displaced.

(Note: It is Enrollment Planning that moves the Wait List so direct your calls and inquiries to them. Enrollment/Admissions plays no part in moving the Wait List. Your Principal can't help either.)

It just doesn't make any sense. Just wondering aloud...what is really going on behind the scenes in Enrollment Planning? Have they been given orders from higher up and just trying to shield behind a curtain of obfuscation until the storm passes? What is the purpose of this shell game with enrollment rules?

Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lynn said…
They haven't budgeted any money to reduce class splits or to stabilize staffing based on actual enrollment. When parents made a big fuss (two years ago?) about removing teachers from schools in October, enrollment planning got the message that getting the school by school enrollment projections right was very very important. The head of enrollment planning has been touting the accuracy of projections for the current year in reports to the board. Now we know that the department is manipulating waitlists and choice seats to ensure actual enrollment matches projections.

The board must send enrollment planning the message that allowing elementary students to remain in their current schools and keeping siblings together is more important than the accuracy of February enrollment projections. If there is space at Stevens and children who are already enrolled and siblings want to attend the school, they should be allowed to do so even if it means a teacher has to be pulled from Lowell or Madrona. Good projections are important to protect children (staffing must be correct at the start of school) not adults.
Abel said…
Surely, for cost reasons alone, the district must want to phase out the littlest schools. Unless the neighborhood is having serious capacity issues, it doesn't make financial sense to keep a lot of the little elementary schools (i.e. around 250 students) open. Those schools cost so much more to run and are allotted so much less in terms of fractions of a librarian/nurse/etc. They need all kinds of mitigation funding given the way the district allots staffing. That's why they're trying to shut down the middle school portions of K-8 schools that are underenrolled, right? Funding. So many problems come from inadequate education funding. It's tragic.
Long time parent said…
Holy cow,
Haven't read this blog in forever and I am not surprised by the angst over not being able to get into your "choice" school.
If a students enrollment area is Lowell or Madonna then that's the school they should go to. The district needs to stop pandering to parents who don't want to go to their assignment area. If the sibling got into Stevens at one time because they opted in, should not give their siblings some special privilege.
I also find it funny that parents get all worked up because the district is not "transparent" with them about the process. I'm tired of parents who think they know better than the district and are mad because they can't get their way. This district would do a lot better if they did not cow to the parents as much.
Many of the people who work for the district are hard working, good meaning people who are trying to serve the needs of 50,000 students. It's an impossible job and some people will just not be happy.
Anonymous said…
The district made up these draconian rules about funding, and now is shrugging its shoulders "oh, we can't let X school be harmed by the rules we made up!" And made up enrollment (and therefore budget) projections WITH NO OPEN ENROLLMENT DATA even though open enrollment had already happened when the budgets came out. So now, having been told there would be choice when there is no choice(unless you are zoned for a highly desirable school- then you get both a desirable school AND the ability to go to other schools) because the district made up imaginary numbers they want to stick to it turns out families are angry. Who would have thought?

I thought it was a bad idea to send out budgets without taking into account open enrollment data but naively assumed there would be significant changes and an attempt to accommodate families in the next round. Instead they are sticking to their made up numbers and asking families to trust them. Ah, no.

Long time parent, the first tie-breaker for oversubscribed schools has always been sibling. If there is room at a school and a sib is already there, they should let the other sib in. It makes zero sense not to. I would agree perhaps if there was no sib.

And sorry but if you have a written policy about enrollment, you need to stick to it. The parents are not asking for anything that isn't in the policy.

Anonymous said…
Old Timer, we're throwing darts at this board because we elected them in 2015 to deliver change and they are not only failing to deliver - they're now rubber stamping the staff, which these new board members *explicitly* promised not to do when they were campaigning.

There's no doubt that this is a challenging situation. But to see board members just rolling over for staff and refusing to fight for parents and kids is profoundly depressing. Makes one wonder why we need an elected school board at all if they're just going to act the same way an appointed board would act.

Anonymous said…
"Many of the people who work for the district are hard working" I would rather see people working smart.

kellie said…
@ Long time parent,

This is not about people getting "choice schools" or about parents "getting their way." This is not about making people happy. This is about trust.

The Student Assignment Plan took years to create and the SAP outlines the process for handling change, including boundary changes. The SAP details this process and makes it clear that already assigned students at school get to remain and that the siblings of already assigned students get priority to join their families.

This is simple common sense if you think of a school as a learning community. If you think of a school as just a place for widgets, then just move students wherever, whenever and call it a day.

This not something special people are requesting. This is the precise scenario envisioned as boundaries are changed. Many of the Stevens families were originally zoned for Stevens and were affected by boundary changes.

The only thing people are looking for here ... is for the district to follow their own policy and keep the district's own promise.

kellie said…
@ Lynn,

Your numbers are correct. I was not very precise in my comment.

When the NSAP was instituted, Madrona had multiple empty classrooms. By the time, class size reduction was approved by the State, Madrona was near the top of the list of schools that would not be able to accommodate class size reduction.

You are correct that the truncation saves at least $.5M every year in the budget. But is also correct that class size reduction changed the capacity at many schools. So while the total number of students may not be growing, Madrona now fills their building, whereas that was not always the case.
kellie said…
@ sleeper,

You have narrated the circular logic very well.

Enrollment and Budget projection were made.

Many communities were very clear that these numbers did not reflect their on the ground reality. In particular, Whitman was budgeted at 500. The entire community was very clear that there were be many more students than 500 after open enrollment. Whitman did precisely what was requested during the SAP meeting. They gave choice forms to all families.

Whitman and other schools were told, don't worry. We will make adjustments after open enrollment.

Now that post open enrollment, enrollment plus waitlist equals the number that communities were expecting the entire time.

But behold. Circular reasoning. The budget number is now the enrollment number and everyone needs to trust enrollment, while enrollment ....

Anonymous said…
Kellie, I don't understand how Madrona is filling their building:


April 2, 2017: "We at Madrona K-8 have been struggling with enrollment issues for years. Enrollment is currently at 250 for next year. Our capacity is somewhere in the 500s. With the loss of our middle school we will have at least five empty classrooms."


kellie said…
@ Westside,

And this is why we all keep asking for some more transparency. The last report I read about this stated that the six middle school homerooms were needed for elementary capacity and the capacity number was in the low 300's.

I have no clue where the 500 number you are quoting came from. However, the part where that note says "five" empty classrooms, when six are being vacated, supports the idea that those rooms were needed for elementary.

The bottom line here is that Madrona has a very small waitlist. That waitlist will not make or break the school, or trigger mitigation funding, (because there isn't any) and those students should be admitted to the learning community they want.

Old Timer said…
I disagree with you, Saddened. We have a responsive board. Helping one school will hurt another school. Dart throwing will not help your cause.
kellie said…
I concur with Old Timer about our responsive board. The board comments were quite insightful as to how they are thinking about these issues and truly trying to push this conversation forward.

That said, I don't agree that helping one school hurt other schools.

The Steven's families brought a very clear example. Of the 18 families on last year's waitlist, 4 of those families, representing 8 enrolled students, left the district rather than deal with split siblings. Moving that waitlist was not going to make or break any other school and it would have helped Steven's tremendously.

Losing 8 students out of an 18 student list is not a good sign. If those numbers are even remotely representative of a larger dynamic, then the district is losing millions of dollars every year with this policy.

mirmac1 said…
So happy to quit watching board meetings or being affected by the district's abject neglect and abuse of kids with disabilities, with respect to student assignment. I'd hoped that our school board would see the inequity and harm caused by district practice, but apparently not.
mirmac1 said…
This is how the board responded last time an equitable approach to student assignment language came up:

Minute 31:21


It was disgusting. They laughed, recognizing that what they were voting on was inconsequential and silly.

I hope those parents following behind me recognize how objectionable the district's position is, and how much they must push for full civil rights protections.
kellie said…

To follow up on StepJ posts. Here is the link to this current school year's sibling report. There were 60 siblings, who were split from their learning communities. That is 30% and the vast majority of these schools had space.

BHSparent said…
What is the point of having only 2 start times? How is the 2 tier system helping any of the high schools? A 3:50pm dismissal time will be a big impact on sports, clubs, and other afternoon school activities. Please tell me why this is a good idea? The district is getting a grant for 2 tier busing, but why spend money on a one-year fix that doesn't take in consideration high schools?
SusanH said…
The point of having two start times is because people previously stuck in tiers 1 and 3 complained bitterly. No one wants their children to have go to school as early as 7:30 or as late as 9:30 am. Everyone wants 8:30. So the two tiers will allow everyone to be a little closer to that ideal time, with elementary starting at 8:00 and middle/high school starting at 9:00. Middle/high schools are of course getting the later of the two new start times because of all the research that says teen outcomes are improved with a later start.

It's not a one-year fix because apparently the state will take over the funding starting next year. That's how it's been presented. The city is paying this to allow ALL students to be closer to that ideal 8:30 start time.

I have a high schooler and I have no problem with the 3:50 pm release. It's only about 30 minutes later than this year, so it doesn't seem that devastating. 30 minutes. But my student is not in athletics. I believe sports parents are the most upset about this.

I think rather than complain about the two tiers (which is a good thing), we should potentially be complaining about the extra 20 minutes per school day, combined with the early release every Wednesday. That's certainly driving the 3:50 pm release.
Good points, Susan.
Anonymous said…
...only about 30 minutes later than this year, so it doesn't seem that devastating. 30 minutes.

Yet, it's not just 30 minutes. It's 90 minutes. It's a full 90 minutes later than last school year. Huge difference.

Perhaps check back in when your child is a junior or senior and let us know how it's working. It's not just sports! It's trying to juggle part-time jobs, volunteering, drivers ed, clubs, etc. on top of a demanding school work load, while still getting to bed at a reasonable hour.

Lynn said…
If next year will end 90 minutes later than last year for your child, the day must also begin 70 minutes later - right? What is your child doing with that time?

By all means, complain about the longer day. That is a real problem.

Anonymous said…
The later start is not gained time. After school activities are still after school. A day still has 24 hours. Whatever students are doing, it's unlikely that they are getting more sleep.

SusanH said…
I think they get more sleep because the sleeping time has shifted a little later, to better match their biorhythms. When my child had to get up at 6 am, he would need to be asleep by 10 pm at night to get enough sleep. But at 10 pm, he was wide awake, not tired in the least. So now, instead of 10 pm, he can go to sleep at 11 or 11:30 (when he's actually tired), which enables him to get 8 hours of sleep, be more rested through the day, and not do most of his sleeping on the weekend. Does that make sense? It's not more hours in the day; they still have to do activities and eat dinner and do homework. It's just when bedtime comes, they are actually tired. That's what the research on sleep patterns tell us.
Mama G said…
Just reread this great article about early bedtimes for preschool and elementary school students. The about 8 a.m. start time for elementary schools (tier 1 this year) does require an absurdly early bed time for young kids. Which makes it hard for adults who live in a city with commute times like Seattle's to have a social life.

I'm definitely in favor of the two tier start time, though, just because it will stop the 7:55 a.m. start time from sliding even earlier next year.

But with these 8am elementary start times if the city's kids don't go to bed earlier, they're going to be overtired. With all the physical, emotional, and psychological problems that go along with that. As a city, we need to tackle the issue of commute times. For the sake of kids.

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