Next week the Seattle City Council will vote on whether or not to provide the one-time funding for a shift to two start times for Seattle students. The School Board will vote on June 7.
If we shift to two start times all elementary schools will start at 8:00 and end at 2:30. Middle and high schools will start at 9:00 and end at 3:50. This is consistent with what’s recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. All students will benefit.
There’s a formidable campaign underway to block this shift to two start times. It’s led by high school parents and principals who are convinced that sports schedules will suffer. They are not taking into consideration the impact of three start times on students who fall into the third tier. They are very much in the minority, with less than 20% of all SPS students on sports teams. However, they are organized and they are lobbying the Seattle City Council and School Board to oppose this shift.
If the City Council votes against the one time funding, or the School Board votes against the shift we are indefinitely stuck with these three tiers:
Most elementary schools will run from 7:45 to 2:15;
Middle and high schools from 8:35 to 3:25;
K-8s and some elementary schools from 9:25 to 3:55.
Pegi McEvoy, SPS Assistant Superintendent of Operations has addressed concerns around sports by proposing 15 minute earlier start and end times for high schools that don’t have sports fields and facilities. This is the compromise that would satisfy most.
Please ACT NOW and send the following message to the Seattle City Council and School Board. For greater impact please personalize with your own spin and subject line. (Email addresses are listed below.)
Dear Seattle City Council and Board Directors,
Please vote in favor of one-time funding to shift to two optimum start times for Seattle Students. This is in the interest of all students, including the less than 20% who are on sports teams. It’s consistent with recommendations by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And it will eliminate the very late start and end times for students in Tier 3.
I support the use of funds from speed zone violations to cover $2.3m to help SPS implement a district-wide two-tier bus schedule in the 2017-18 school year. I hope you will vote to this important initiative.
Send your email to these addresses:
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