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School start time may shift this fall

Posted by Geeky Swedes on May 26th, 2009

School start times could be moved up by 10 to 15 minutes starting next school year. Based on feedback from teachers, principals and families, school district staff is proposing the changes. “Making these start/end time changes will ensure that all elementary students are picked up and dropped off during daylight hours,” a release from Seattle Public Schools said. The district also says the changes will also use 49 fewer buses with these proposed start times and reduce the transportation cost by $2.2 million. Here’s the breakdown (.pdf):

Adams Elem.: 9:15 a.m. to 3:20 p.m. (now 8:55 a.m. to 3:05 p.m.)
Ballard High: 8:00 a.m. to 2:35 p.m. (now 8:20 a.m. to 2:50 p.m.)
Loyal Heights Elem.: 9:05 a.m. to 3:10 p.m. (now 8:50 a.m. to 3:05 p.m.)
North Beach Elem.: 9:20 a.m. to 3:25 p.m. (now 9:00 a.m. to 3:05 p.m.)
Salmon Bay: 9:05 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (now 8:55 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.)
West Woodland Elem.: 9:10 to 3:20 p.m. (now 9:10 a.m. to 3:20 p.m.)
Whitman Middle: 8:05 a.m. to 2:35 p.m. (now 7:45 a.m. to 2:15 p.m.)
Whittier Elem.: 9:25 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (now 9:05 a.m. to 3:10 p.m.)

Earlier, there was speculation that the start times could as late as 9:40 a.m., sparking a petition signed by nearly 700 parents. “This start time is nearly untenable for most working parents, who will be forced to either negotiate their own start times to 10 a.m. or later or find and pay for additional child care, an especially outrageous accommodation to demand in this economy,” the petition reads. The board will vote on the proposed times listed above on June 3rd.

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23 reader comments so far ↓

  • 1 johnnybravo // May 26, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    isn't it called “moving back” when something is done later than before?

  • 2 The Mad Hatter // May 26, 2009 at 4:03 pm

    Sure. I didn't really want my job anyway. Isn't that what the Seattle Schools presumes – that one parent stays at home? I already have problems with my boss after I drop my son off for a 9:05 start time. Why not make it later so that I can just get fired.

    THANKS SEATTLE SCHOOLS FOR GETTING ME OUT OF MY JOB!

  • 3 CHMom // May 26, 2009 at 5:11 pm

    Huh, many working parents (this one included) already pay for before school care. Be nice if elementary schools could start even earlier, say 8 a.m. Don't think that one would fly though.

  • 4 ktown69 // May 26, 2009 at 5:53 pm

    Rats. We were looking forward to the much later start once our daughter starts high school. Man, it's hard to stay ahead of the decision makers>:)

  • 5 EnduroDriver // May 26, 2009 at 6:00 pm

    This seems backwards to me. The younger the child is the more parental supervision they need wouldn't it make sense to start them earlier so parents could wait at the bus stop or driver them to school without impacting their job schedule. High school kids can fend for themselves and get to a bus stop without parental supervision.

    I’m so glad my child is in private school.

  • 6 guest // May 26, 2009 at 6:07 pm

    Can you research/include BF Day starting times as well, since that school is now part of the NW cluster. Although not in Ballard, a lot of Ballard students are being assigned there this year.

  • 7 choir // May 26, 2009 at 7:37 pm

    Euro drivin' your kids to some school across town, when there's a bunch of parents that walk their kids to our great local elementary every day.

    I'm so glad my kids are in public school.

  • 8 EnduroDriver // May 26, 2009 at 8:41 pm

    Choir, we are close to the school so no hour school commute here. My private school comment is more around not having to deal with an underfunded, overly bureaucratic school district that seems to have no problem throwing families into chaos with things like this.

  • 9 SeaSpider // May 26, 2009 at 8:52 pm

    What's the big deal and what's with all this driving to school? What ever happened to kids walking or riding their bikes to school?

    While we're at it, why is the school day so short?? When I grew up grade school ran from 8:30-3:30 and high school ran from 8:30-4:00. Sorry but 6 hours (5 once you count lunch) isn't a long enough school day. No wonder our kids are falling behind!

  • 10 kim // May 26, 2009 at 9:09 pm

    thank you seaspider. i thought i was the only one. and you went from labor day to memorial day.

  • 11 SeaSpider // May 26, 2009 at 9:18 pm

    How short is the year in Seattle? I still can't believe this country has long summer breaks. That made sense when everyone still farmed but these days school should be year round (as it is in other cities).

  • 12 rug // May 26, 2009 at 9:44 pm

    It isn't the school district that throws everyone in a tizzy. It is the namby pamby parents who assume that anything the school district decides to do is with the explicit intent of personally disenfranchising their own little john or mary doe. Those kind of parents are in private schools too – you know the ones who belabor a point, who refuse to see the common good in large scale decisions.
    This is a case in point – changes are proposed for the next school year starting 3 months from nowand a vote on these changes is announced and we have parents complaining that the Seattle Public School District is trying to make them loose their jobs. BFD

  • 13 rug // May 26, 2009 at 9:47 pm

    I don't know any any other school district that is completely year round. There are a few with one or two schools within the district with year round focus. Do know of some districts that have classes year round – as a tool to combat over crowding – but not all students go year round. Which other cities to you speak of seaspider?

  • 14 choir // May 26, 2009 at 9:52 pm

    And you went from labor day to memorial day?

    as opposed to now, when school is still in session for four more weeks?

    I don't see the school year being any shorter than it was in the 70's. and seattle actually goes far longer than most other cities. I have nephews and nieces around the country that have been done since may 15th.

    do you really think kids should be at school 8 hours a day? why not send them back into the factories, too.

  • 15 Tiptoes // May 26, 2009 at 10:00 pm

    I guess you haven't noticed what an appalling record the SPS has educating kids? I'm glad people hold their feet to the fire.

  • 16 rug // May 26, 2009 at 10:47 pm

    I guess not I had not noticed what an appalling record SPS has. Nearly everyone I know around here was educated by Seattle Public Schools (I was not) – all those folks seem fairly well educated, and most went to the college of their choice.
    There is such a thing as holding feet to fire – but there doesn't seem to be any of that around here.

  • 17 Sweet Rose // May 27, 2009 at 12:18 am

    Schools are not in the business of babysitting. Pay for before and after care. Think about logistics before you have kids.

  • 18 SeaSpider // May 27, 2009 at 12:31 am

    I know some districts in California, Hawaii, and Arizona which operate on year round schedules. It's roughly the same number of actual school days but they take more frequent but shorter breaks rather than the long 3 month break in which students forget so much of what they learned.

  • 19 SeaSpider // May 27, 2009 at 12:41 am

    My school district in AZ started before Labor Day and went into June.

    I don't see what's wrong with high school students being in school for 7-8 hours/day. Considering how poorly educated kids are when they leave high school they could probably use it!! If we don't improve the quality of our schools menial factory jobs will be the only jobs available.

  • 20 ballardmama // May 27, 2009 at 1:52 am

    I know, I am the exception here, but I was actually very happy to hear schools are going to start later. My son is at LH, which starts at 8:55, not 8:50 as is claimed above, and a few months back all the talk was that LH would be moving to a 9:30 start time. I am home with my kids, so I loved the idea of letting them sleep later, being a little less rushed, etc. I totally understand, though, how most working parents would not support this. Just wanted to point out that there are a few of us out here who are happy about the change.

  • 21 AMJRAL // May 27, 2009 at 4:02 am

    I'm a working parent currently paying for before and after school care. The current times mean you have to start work at 9:30 or 9:45, and be done by 2:30-2:45

    I wonder where all these working parents are beginning their workdays at 9:30 or so? Maybe it's part-time workers? If I began my day at 9:30 to avoid before-school care, then I'd be done at 6:00, which is exactly when the after-school care closes.

    These new times mean I can flex it just enough to get to work a bit earlier, and not have to pay for after school care. For our family, it is going to save us a ton of money.

  • 22 Sam // May 27, 2009 at 2:06 pm

    it's so the older siblings get home earlier and can watch the youngsters till the parents get home

  • 23 Ugghhh!!! // May 28, 2009 at 4:45 am

    You obviously haven't been in a position to interview some of these stellar SPS grads for a job.

    Nine times out of ten applicants from surrounding areas are more mature, prepared for the real world, have less 'entitlement' attitude and more articulate than SPS grads.

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