As District considers changing school start times, releases survey for community input

As we told you in an earlier story, the Snoqualmie Valley School District is now taking an in-depth look at whether it’s possible to change the start times of schools across the geographically large district.

According to a district announcement, as part of the 2017-18 Strategic Plan, SVSD launched a School Start Times Advisory Committee this fall – comprised of parents, teachers, and administrators – to begin studying the potential benefits and feasibility of adjusting start times for Snoqualmie Valley schools.

The committee has been meeting twice a month since September, examining research on adolescent sleep patterns, operational and financial considerations, transportation logistics, implications for elementary schedules, and lessons learned by other school districts who have made changes to their start times.

In an October 26th, the committee agreed to have VersaTrans, a bus routing system, begin evaluating the feasibility of using a three-tiered school start time sequence where elementary starts first, followed by middle school and then high school.

Currently the district uses a two-tiered start time sequence where middle and high school students start at 7:40AM and elementary schools start at approximately 9AM.

This week the district released a survey for community members to weigh in on different start time options “to understand district stakeholders’ perceptions and preferences.”

According to the district, the survey results will help the School Start Times Advisory Committee assess satisfaction with current school start times and if alternative start times may better meet the community’s needs.

You can take the survey HERE.

Responses are anonymous. The survey is being conducted by Hanover Research. It is estimated to take about 10 minutes and is open through December 12, 2017.

The committee hopes to make a recommendation to the Superintendent sometime in early 2018, for possible implementation during the 2018-19 school year.

For more info visit the School Start Times Advisory Committee webpage.

 

 

Comments

  1. Stephen Kangas says:

    Its great that our school district is finally talking about changing school start times to improve teen student academic performance and health. We’re behind a growing number of sister districts here in WA, and particularly higher performance ranked states, in making this change, so I’m excited that we may finally be getting around to this. Our kids deserve better, and the benefits of later middle and high school start times are clearly backed by sound scientific studies over at least the past couple decades. Our school district needs to continue to improve in order to fulfill its stated vision & supporting mission of “becoming the best school district in WA be any measure”, obviously a long road that needs further traveling, and using solid sound research evidence to support decisions like these helps get us there faster. Young pre-school and K-5 kids have much less trouble with early school start, but the biological circadian clocks of kids change as they grow into the teen years, and then can reverse as adults in the work force (at least for many). Studies by universities, even the Center for Disease Control and National Sleep Foundation, are overwhelming. There are some good articles written for lay-people out there on this topic that are based on the many studies, I’ll post a couple here for your enjoyment…
    https://www.ted.com/talks/wendy_troxel_why_school_should_start_later_for_teens

    https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/05/22/well/family/the-science-of-adolescent-sleep.html?referer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2F

    http://www.businessinsider.com/school-start-times-are-finally-getting-pushed-back-2017-8

    http://www.latimes.com/science/la-sci-sn-teen-sleep-deprived-risk-20160407-story.html

    • I completely agree Stephen. Thank you for the post and the links! I competed the survey and advise everyone else who receives it, complete it. Sports or extra-curricular activities are not top priorities. We need to change our status quo and habits. For us to stay competitive in this world, we must prioritize education!

  2. I would recommend a high degree of skepticism anytime educational research is cited. Anyone ever heard of ITIP or Madeline Hunter? How about constructivism? Just go somewhere they’re doing this and privately ask around. Get away from the apparatchiks and see for yourself.

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