SCHOOL SCHEDULE CHANGES? Final proposed list goes to School Board on Wednesday

Since a citywide round of public meetings that started in West Seattle three weeks ago, Seattle Public Schools‘ list of proposed “bell time” (start and end of the school day) changes has itself changed once again. Here’s the final proposed citywide list, which goes to the School Board when it meets this Wednesday night. Here’s what’s now proposed for West Seattle schools for next year:

Chief Sealth IHS: 8:50 am-3:20 pm
West Seattle HS: 8:50 am-3:20 pm

Denny IMS: 8 am-2:30 pm
Madison MS: 8:50 am-3:20 pm

Louisa Boren K-8 STEM: 9:40 am-4:10 pm
Pathfinder K-8: 8:50 am-3:20 pm

Alki Elementary: 8 am-2:10 pm
Arbor Heights Elementary: 8 am-2:10 pm
Concord International: 8 am-2:10 pm
Fairmount Park Elementary: 8 am-2:10 pm
Gatewood Elementary: 8 am-2:10 pm
Highland Park Elementary: 8 am-2:10 pm
Lafayette Elementary: 9:40 am-3:50 pm
Roxhill Elementary: 8 am-2:10 pm
Sanislo Elementary: 8 am-2:10 pm
Schmitz Park Elementary: 8 am-2:10 pm
West Seattle Elementary: 8 am-2:10 pm

Our coverage of the September 29th public meeting in West Seattle included the list of what was being proposed at that time. What’s changed since then – the two K-8’s are proposed to start 10 minutes later than they do now, and STEM’s end time would be half an hour later. The elementaries would all start significantly earlier than they do now, with the exception of Lafayette, which would start 10 minutes later.

WHAT’S NEXT: This goes to the board on Wednesday night, as an “introduction” item, after 6 pm – see the full agenda item, including the list, here. If the board approves it – or recommends something else – that would come up for a final vote on November 4th. You can send comments to board members via

71 Replies to "SCHOOL SCHEDULE CHANGES? Final proposed list goes to School Board on Wednesday"

  • What? October 19, 2015 (12:50 pm)

    Why does Lafayette get the shaft all the time? Many working parents can’t do this.

  • alki resident October 19, 2015 (1:07 pm)

    Almost 10am start for Lafayette? Im pretty sure parents work. Two more years and were out of this school system forever.

  • cluelessinws October 19, 2015 (1:32 pm)

    I think it’s funny the schedule changes every few years.

  • Curate October 19, 2015 (1:37 pm)

    I **LOVE** these new start/end times!!

  • Bonnie October 19, 2015 (1:43 pm)

    No kids should have to get out of school after 4pm. That is just ridiculous. They need to do away with the 3 tier system.

  • NotOnHolden October 19, 2015 (2:10 pm)

    This is so ridiculous. Elementary aged kids should not be starting school at 9:40 a.m. and not finishing until 4:20 p.m.

  • Homework October 19, 2015 (2:20 pm)

    The late end times make it really hard to allow your child to unwind before starting the dinner and homework routine. I just can’t see how the idea of starting at 9:40 is even plausible. We would need a nanny or an amazing before and after care program (which we cannot afford).

  • Curtis October 19, 2015 (2:24 pm)

    Elementary Parents are going to get it one way or the other. Those working parents struggle to find after school care now, so I don’t see why before school care would be any different.

    Frankly, schools need to be open from 8 – 6, regardless of class times. If mandatory class isn’t in session, this is where the arts and physical education need to be.

  • vortex2.71 October 19, 2015 (2:35 pm)

    9:40 is a ridiculous start time for Lafayette and should never have been put on the table for discussion, let alone decided upon. The volatility of Seattle public schools causes great concern. The administration should get some education in critical thinking!

  • Jenny October 19, 2015 (2:36 pm)

    I thought the whole point of changing the bell times was because the highschool students supposedly benefit from more sleep. So, someone please explain to me why a K-8 and an elementary school are the only two schools in this list with the tier 3 schedule? Who could possibly think it’s appropriate for a kindergarten student to be in school until after 4:00? If this change is supposed to be about the older kids, why are the two high schools in tier 2? If this change takes effect, my child will not be arriving home until 5:00 due to the bus schedule. That doesn’t leave much time for anything but homework, dinner, and bed. It’s so frustrating!

  • Jissy October 19, 2015 (3:09 pm)

    Curtis: School is about getting an education, not daycare for your children at hours convenient to you. If their school hours don’t work for your job, get a different one – it is only for a couple years and most people understand once you decide to have children there are sacrifices you have to make both for their care and safety and for their education.

  • Chris Brady October 19, 2015 (3:13 pm)

    Starting at 8 am is terrible for any young child! We can barely make 8:40 am During the winter it’s still dark at 7:45 am. Just stay with 9 to 3 perfect!

  • LarryB October 19, 2015 (3:17 pm)

    Why on earth are there varying schedules for K-8 anyway?
    High school I can see because by then students may or may not have first or last period classes.
    Is this just another SPS poke in the eye to teachers and parents in the wake of the strike?

  • Chris October 19, 2015 (3:31 pm)

    I wonder if the late start times at Lafayette and the stem school are because of congestion and rush hour traffic in those locations?

  • SingleParentSPS October 19, 2015 (3:34 pm)

    I guess I can just quit my job since I can’t afford before and after school care since my son’s school will be starting at 9:40. Is sps going to provide support for these rediculous start times. I am voting against all of the school board incumbents I just can’t believe these start times along with every other screw up that’s happened due to the incompetent administration makes me beyond fed up.

  • Lisa October 19, 2015 (3:44 pm)

    This makes no sense. They should have elementary 8:35-2:50 and middle school/highschool 9:40-3:50. Wasn’t that the point of all this? Having the older kids start later? 8 am is way too early to have young kids out in the dark walking to school or waiting for a bus. I guess complaining does no good though.

  • Lauri October 19, 2015 (4:10 pm)

    My elementary school-aged kid used to catch a morning bus that had already been out on a run delivering high schoolers, so I imagine these are the kinds of logistics factoring into the school start times.

  • Me mama October 19, 2015 (4:27 pm)

    i thought lafayette was originally going to align with the recommended times for elementary? I have a feeling this shift back to 9:40 has something to do with the parents complaining. Can’t wait to test my kid out of this school!

  • Mike October 19, 2015 (4:37 pm)

    WSB do you have any explanation why Lafayette is the only school not starting at 8:00 a.m. Does the School Board just figure, “Oh those parents have money they can afford both before and after care.” This makes no sense. I was really looking forward to the idea of dropping my daughter off at school and not having to worry about before care. Once my son starts school that will be $500 a month just for before care. I really hope they have a good reason, but I suspect it will be something asinine just like most of the decisions lately.

  • Anton October 19, 2015 (4:38 pm)

    Lafayette and Madison parent and love these later start times!!!!!!!

  • pamela tihista October 19, 2015 (4:44 pm)

    I believe you’ve got the wrong hours for some of the schools. Might want to recheck it.

    • WSB October 19, 2015 (4:53 pm)

      PT, this is the document I linked above, and from which I took the times (just triple-checked). Note that these are the 2016-2017 *start and end* times from the document, NOT the “arrive/depart” (which are bus times, not bell times). Please be specific if you have reason to believe any are wrong, because that means the district document is wrong:

  • Curtis October 19, 2015 (5:22 pm)

    Jissy – I’m a few months from done with school – but I have to tell you that your comment is incredibly insensitive. I don’t know what universe you live in where folks just quit their job and get another school friendly one. My ex and I functioned as a tag-team single parent to make things work – and that was with the great help from the folks at the community center. One of us was always working so the other could be with the kids. And we also had Grandma care. Oh, and bosses DO NOT understand, nor do they care about why you’re not at work – they’ll just find someone who is. There may or may not be two parents in a household these days, but if there are, only the very fortunate are making it on one income. Schools simply must expand their opening and closing times. This current round has been discussed and debated for years and I’m surprised at all the surprise.

    I’m happy that your life allows you to just quit your job and find one that works for you. Most people simply can’t do that – especially if there is any sort of career ladder involved.

  • Busrider October 19, 2015 (5:38 pm)

    Keep the current times for elementary schools. I can barely get my kindergartener there at 8:30 now .

  • Lafayette Dad October 19, 2015 (6:40 pm)

    Why is Lafayette getting the shaft here?

  • jissy October 19, 2015 (6:50 pm)

    Curtis — I apologize if my comment seemed “insensitive” but I disagree that it was, more like realistic….. I could ask on what universe YOU live in that you think the Educational system was set up to provide daycare/childcare etc… for all people to work? And you’re right, bosses DON’T understand, that was kind of my point — corporations, small businesses, office hours etc… do not revolve around the schedules of their employees, never have and never will so if the job you choose doesn’t allow for you to care for your child outside of their structured educational hours, somethings gotta give, right?

    To say “Schools simply must expand their opening and closing times.” is ludicrous! Didn’t we all just witness a strike with teachers crying foul for 30 little minutes added to their day without pay? Where do you think the money would come from to fund the hours of 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. as you state they should be? Wait, it should all just be free b/c ‘merica needs it to be that way for us to all participate in the rat race?

    And yeah, I did quit my job, actually sold my small business when I had my second child b/c I came to the realization that #1 I didn’t want other people raising my kids that I decided to have and #2, it was going to cost most of what I made to pay for childcare….. so I sacrificed (for now) a $80K+ education, degree and very successful small business that served this community for over 12 years to raise my children.

    Now I’m done with the tit-for-tat — we all set our lives up how they work best for us, set the priorities that align with our personal philosophies which leaves a million ways from Sunday to accomplish life. My way is not better than your way nor vice versa it’s just another perspective and opinion… sorry you don’t care for it.

  • mom October 19, 2015 (6:51 pm)

    No Way can my kid get to school by 8:00!!!!!!!!we can barely get him up before 8:00!

  • Paul October 19, 2015 (7:28 pm)

    @Jissy – Have a little compassion for those who can’t make such luxurious choices. The view from your high horse must be nice.

  • flimflam October 19, 2015 (7:28 pm)

    @jissy! thank you! great posts.

  • KM October 19, 2015 (8:00 pm)

    +1 Jissy, I hear ya.

  • SLS October 19, 2015 (8:09 pm)

    If the limiting factor is buses, why are only two schools starting at 9:40? If it’s only two schools, can’t we make it a two-tier system? It makes no sense that Lafayette is the only elementary school starting so late. It is much easier to find after school care than before school care, so this is really difficult for working parents. Also, why is Denny starting earlier if the point is to let the older kids sleep in more?

  • jissy October 19, 2015 (8:10 pm)

    @ Paul… Hmmm, I think you didn’t read to the end of my post where I noted, “My way is not better than your way and vice versa” and if you think giving up a very successful small business was a “luxurious” choice.. then you’re smoking something funny- IT WAS THE HARDEST CHOICE I EVER HAD TO MAKE – I went to college for 8 years for my field of choice and it’s no secret working 80 hours a week is WAY easier than parenting (IMO). I LOVED my career and those I served and some days regret that decision but it’s just for a season and was the right choice for MY family at the time. We’ve had to downsize our lifestyle tremendously — it hasn’t been easy and luxurious? Laughable.

  • Mom4 October 19, 2015 (8:19 pm)

    8 am start for elementary is crazy! We barely make the 8:35/40 start time. Getting out at 2 is even crazier……..
    This is all motivated by SPS saving on bus routes not anyone’s sleep!
    Little kids can’t function that early!! Good luck with breakfast.

  • Lynn October 19, 2015 (8:19 pm)

    “No kids should have to get out of school after 4pm.”
    “No Way can my kid get to school by 8:00.”
    “9:40 is a ridiculous start time for Lafayette…”

    Nothing will make everyone happy. Switching from a three-tier bus schedule to a two-tier schedule would be better – but district staff say that would cost $8,000,000. Is that a worthwhile investment?

    As for staffing schools for ten hours a day – who is going to pay for that? Not me.

  • TOMartieMclaren October 19, 2015 (8:30 pm)

    This is my plea to Martie Mclaren our School Board Rep for West Seattle:
    Please do not approve the start time change proposed for Lafayette Elementary!! It feels like a blow to the Lafayette Community- and really stings. Why would ALL elementary schools have an early start time EXCEPT Lafayette?
    I recently moved my children from Lafayette to another school. My decision was made in part because of the late start time. Last school year I was paying for morning care for a job I work from 9-1. I spent 80% of what I earned, as a preschool teacher, to have my kids in morning care before school started. Some have said morning care and afternoon care are the same but, Hiawatha, the care provider for Lafayette charges double for morning care. Martie; please consider the social implications to have Lafayette school on a different schedule. Sports, play dates, community activates will all be geared to kids getting out at the same time, leaving Lafayette kids out of the community. If you live in West Seattle, you know we live here because of the strong sense of community. The start times will be a division in our community!!
    Please consider the financial, social and community impact it will have to assign Lafayette a different start time than all other elementary schools in West Seattle.

  • observer October 19, 2015 (8:35 pm)

    I don’t have kids or a dog in this fight, but I have been following the debate from early on. I am dismayed by what I see.
    The whole idea started as almost a hypothetical- “it would be nice if high-schoolers could start later”. Ok, in a complete vacuum that would be a nice idea. From there the idea was latched onto by well meaning but misguided admins, who are now unwilling to reconsider the idea for fear that they would look foolish for backing it the first place. Where are the studies showing the impact (+ or -) to altered start times for elem school? They just took the high school study and jerry-rigged a schedule for everyone else that allows them to claim credit for that benefit without counting the costs (both financial and academic) for other students and their families.

  • Brandon October 19, 2015 (8:48 pm)

    Isn’t this what Lafayette is already doing for bell times? So it won’t be much different.
    Other wise, I’d be hard pressed to be convinced that for the majority of students, its a good move.

  • Person October 19, 2015 (9:15 pm)

    I love the new schedule (although I think Lafayette’so start time is waaay too l6). The idea has been floating around for months, I think there was even a survey. That was the time to voice your opinions. Not sure what can be done now. It’s already been pretty hashed over.

  • mom October 19, 2015 (9:44 pm)

    Lafayette is basically the same just a 10 min difference. They start at 9:30 now.

  • N.A. Neighbor October 19, 2015 (9:48 pm)

    What?!?! Those start times form STEM and Lafayette are so late, it has to be a typo?! SERIOUSLY?!?!?! How could he start time at Lafayette possibly be LATER? I am disgusted to the point of laughing. That’s a joke, right?

  • mom October 19, 2015 (9:50 pm)

    K and 1st graders still need up to 12 hours of sleep, that would mean asleep by 6:30. Starting bedtime at 5:30? That’s not realistic. Where are the results of sleep studies on 5 and 6 year olds?

  • Blah October 19, 2015 (10:18 pm)

    Love this. I think ideally ALL elementary schools should get the early start time but looks like in this version just one misses out.

  • Lynn October 20, 2015 (12:12 am)


    This change was sought by parents, doctors and sleep researchers – not school district administration. It’s been discussed by the school board for years and the district has spent the last year studying the issue.


    If your kindergartener needs 12 hours of sleep, I suggest instituting an afternoon nap or quiet time. There will be plenty of time for that when they’re out of school by 2:30.

  • Elle Nell October 20, 2015 (7:22 am)

    First off, I think the two later schools are good for traffic issues as well… And really, Laffayette starts at 930 now?? And the complaints look like it’s hours of a change, c’mon!! Sooo glad we don’t reside there and have to deal with that mentality. In regards to small children needed sleep and not able to get up before 8.. Are you serious!??? Children need routine. If you have them in bed early enough, they could rise at 4 am. You as a parent get them up, cleaned, beakfast, etc… I’m thinking this is a parent “issue”. Those of us who have chosen to have these bundles of joy need to take the responsibly that goes with it. Do your job as a parent and make it work the best you can. Period.

  • WSHomegrown October 20, 2015 (7:57 am)

    The point of the change according to everything out there is to give the older students more sleep. Looking at these times it is apparent that SPS completely missed the mark yet again and if it is truly NOT about cost savings to them then explain why the kids who are starting the latest are in elementary school? I have one in HS and one in elementary. The start time for HS does not change but by 10 minutes. There are only 24 hours in a day….if you start them later, their activities after school start later, they are home later, up doing homework later, they go to bed later and they get the same amount of sleep….it does not really solve much now does it? My kids in HS go to bed fairly early as is and quite frankly it is more about turning off the electronics more than anything! No child should ever get out of school after 4:00 p.m. ever, that is ridiculous. This is exactly the reason my oldest is in full running start, my middle is in private school now, and my youngest will be moving to one next year. SPS is a complete joke. The administration does not support the teachers or the families, it is a broken system that is failing ALL students.

  • N.A. Neighbor October 20, 2015 (7:57 am)

    Elie Nell, thanks for dismissing our “mentality” here in the Lafayette school zone. You must be new to SPS to so easily suggest that parents just need to “do their jobs”. Year after year after year, Lafayette gets the shaft from SPS and we are so tired of banging our heads against the wall. We’ve been suffering through an already ridiculously late start time for our kids for over 5 years now, advocating and asking the district to reconsider and instead we get our time pushed later?! Just try, for a second, to think about how hugely inconvenient that is for parents. Working parents, and non-working parents. And the kids of those parents? Two hours in before school care BEFORE an entire day at school? Yikes, that’s a really long day for a little kid. I’ve “done my job” and quit working to “take care of my kids”, at great sacrifice. Unlike many of the posters above, I would have been delighted with an 8 am start time because my kids are up at 6:00 am. They’re up for three and a half hours before school starts! It’s just typical of SPS to “solve” a problem by dividing the community – voila! Aren’t we great? Yeah, except that you did it on the backs of two entire schools who will bear the burden. And then when they complain, they’ll be dismissed. And look how well it’s worked – I’m so angered by your comment that my blood is boiling. Way to divide and conquer SPS.

  • Cynical girl October 20, 2015 (8:26 am)

    So at 4:00 the speed limit will be 20 and buses will cause even bigger back-ups. I hope this doesn’t deter all those parents that wait for their kids at the stop from having a 5 minute conversation with the bus driver as the ‘do not pass’ flashers blink.

  • soi October 20, 2015 (8:43 am)

    3 tiers supporters, please stick with the science for pro-sleep and leave out the holier than thou “parent issue” and the “I’m better at life- work- parenting decision than you” comments. Parents who care enough to come here to disagree with the proposed changes or say their school age children don’t do well in the morning or can’t sleep by 7:30 PM aren’t lesser or bad parents. Is this comparative morality a new form of keeping up with the Joneses? Personally, I prefer in your face, bling materialism.

  • SLS October 20, 2015 (8:50 am)

    Some of these comments–“So glad we don’t reside there and have to deal with that mentality” and “I don’t want someone else raising my kids” are snarky and just plain mean-spirited. They do not add to the discussion. This is a difficult and emotional situation, so maybe we can all try to be respectful? We all want the same thing, a good education for our kids. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to want it to work for working parents too. Again, if you are able to quit your job to take care of your kids, that’s fantastic. But it doesn’t work for every family, which is okay too. We don’t need to add the working-parent vs. stay-at-home parent battle.

    I’m a Lafayette parent, and it’s not the 10 minute change that’s the issue. Obviously we can adapt to 10 minutes. The problem is that a late start time was already burdensome and we really wanted to start earlier. I don’t know many jobs that start after 10 am. And we did fill out the survey earlier in the year, we’re not just jumping in at the last minute.

    There is extensive research on sleep in children, including younger children. There will always be some young kids who sleep in, and some high schoolers who wake up early. But the majority of young kids wake earlier, and that is why 8 am is easier for elementary than high school.

    I hope this gets resolved in a way that works for most people. But more than that, I hope our neighbors will all act like neighbors and stop criticizing families that function differently than yours.

  • clementine October 20, 2015 (8:53 am)

    I feel bad for the great tutoring programs that rely on high school volunteers to tutor elementary school children. Team Read and Seattle Music Partners and other after school tutoring programs here in West Seattle will be greatly affected by these dismissal changes. These programs are beneficial to both the elementary school students who receive the extra help they need and the high school students who want to give back to the community and do something other than sleep in.

  • NeighborMama October 20, 2015 (9:44 am)

    Can anyone speak to the odds of getting my future kindergartener into Lafayette if it is not our assigned school? We are assigned to Schmitz Park even though it is about 10 blocks away, while Lafayette is just 2 blocks from us. A 9:40 start time is looking good compared to how early I’d have to wake my child up to catch a school bus arriving to Schmitz Park by 7:45. Plus there’s that $2,840. fee for all-day kindergarten that is charged at Schmitz Park but not at Lafayette.

  • STEM Owl October 20, 2015 (10:36 am)

    I’m very disappointed with this. All that research SPS supposedly did, and they don’t seem to be helping anyone with these bell times – they’re either ridiculously early or ridiculously late for elementary/middle school. I wonder if High School students and parents are happy with the changes. The worst part is that we gave lots of feedback and asked questions, however SPS changed STEM’s start time from 8:50 to 9:40 at the last minute, giving us hardly any time to respond! And…why the heck has Lafayette been singled out for the late schedule, when all the other elementaries are on the early one? My concern is that my kid will be walking home from the bus stop in the dark, and won’t have much time for after-school activities. Tracy, do you know if the 4:10pm end time for STEM is for the middle schoolers only? If not, then why does STEM have a longer school day than Lafayette? SPS is incompetent. There needs to be a vote of no confidence for the lot of them. I’m also absolutely fed up with the school board. They’re supposed to be our advocates but instead they seem like they’re working for SPS – I agree we need a clean slate!

  • Seam October 20, 2015 (11:05 am)

    I am happy about Lafayette starting at 9:40. So… Sorry you’re not??

  • ok but October 20, 2015 (11:47 am)

    Lafayette is treated as a bastard child in so many ways. We paid for kindergarten when nearly every other school in West Seattle was granted free K. We were told it would be discounted that final year and we saved a whopping $20 a month. We continuously get later start times. Last Halloween, families were laughing at us as they began trick or treating in the Admiral area while Lafayette students were just being released from school. We started this year with horribly large class sizes. I didn’t see any complaining from our community on the blog during the uproar. Many assume Lafayette is a wealthy community. That’s not true. It may be for some, but not for many others. In fact many families with enough money took their kids out of the school this year and put them into the private system. It feels like choice schools should be the ones who have to start late (although I don’t agree that ANY should have to start as late as 9:40). We have no choice. This is our neighborhood school.

  • Anton October 20, 2015 (4:11 pm)

    As a Lafayette parent I am thrilled with the late start time though maybe a little too late. If we as a city want to discuss the reasons, obviously bussing and why we do it must not be overlooked or ignored. Neighborhood schools for neighborhood kids and if you want different get them there yourselves. The job of the city and school board is to make sure all schools are created equal for their students. May never happen in this city but is the obvious answer to what’s going on.

  • Stemdad October 20, 2015 (5:07 pm)

    Stem K8 proposed times start 10 mins later at 940, and end 30 mins later at 410. Why does our late school day not only become later, but also become LONGER? This proposal would have the bus drop my daughter off (after an extended school day) at almost 5pm!

  • zark00 October 20, 2015 (5:19 pm)

    By December sunset will be at around 4:20pm.
    30 minutes of daylight from school end to sunset.
    SPS is staffed by a gaggle of abject morons.

  • Lynn October 20, 2015 (5:36 pm)


    If you are in Schmitz Park’s attendance area and two blocks from Lafayette you will not qualify for a bus to Schmitz Park. Something else to keep in mind – the legislature is funding all-day kindergarten state-wide next year. No more pay for K.

  • Lynn October 20, 2015 (5:42 pm)


    More than half of our bus routes are for student who require special education services. We are required by law to provide transportation for them – can’t tell parents to get them to school on their own. For example, last year Lafayette had seven bus routes – three for general education students, two for homeless students and two for special education students. Lafayette is the assigned school for some children living near Delridge. Should they be required to walk to school?

  • Lynn October 20, 2015 (5:51 pm)


    I meant to add some details. Last year Lafayette had seven bus routes – three for general education students, two for homeless students and two for students receiving special education services. The general education students are assigned to Lafayette – it’s their neighborhood school. (The attendance area includes North Delridge all the way down east of 21st and north of Juneau. Clearly they can’t walk to school.

  • Daddad October 20, 2015 (6:45 pm)

    Kids are bussed around for the reasons Lynn stated, and a myriad of others, as different schools have different types of programs that serve different types of kids with vastly different needs and abilities. Consider yourself fortunate if your child can receive an adequate learning experience from the school assigned to your home address (although that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a walkable distance away from you).
    And if your neighborhood school is already bulging at the seams, how would you accommodate all the additional students from your “area” that attend “out of area” schools? These option schools exist to balance the needs of the system in many ways, such as providing advanced learning, and special education, and reducing the stresses of dense population zones geographically.

  • ThanksNo October 20, 2015 (7:02 pm)

    With this proposal, Stem K8 would start 10 mins later at 940, and end 30 mins later at 410. Why would our (already late) school day become not only later, but LONGER? My 7 year old daughter would be dropped off at the bus stop at almost 5pm?! So, if your exhausted child rides the bus from Stem K8, her after school snack is called Dinner!
    SPS- It seems like we may have lost our objective somewhere..

  • Lynn October 20, 2015 (7:56 pm)

    Elementary (K-5) students are not required to have as many instructional hours in a year as secondary (6-12) students. Now that STEM has middle school students, you’re required to have a longer year. I’m surprised the change wasn’t made this year.

  • MmmHmm October 20, 2015 (8:31 pm)

    How about only provide bus transportation to children that actually need it (apply due to financial, special needs, etc), not just for parents who “choose” to send there child to another (our of their “area zone” school). That would alleviate the number of buses needed, their route would get kids to school faster, & therefore possibly eliminate the need for juggling school times because of bussing needs. There’s already walking school buses, & I’m sure, carpooling situations. Force/encourage families to meet their neighbors & fellow school families to share the job of getting their children safely to school (It takes a village!).
    give all the now unneeded bus drivers the job of “before school care” supervisors at the schools so that parents (who don’t “need” the bus service) can drop their kids off in morning.

  • Lynn October 20, 2015 (11:11 pm)

    The general rule now is that transportation is provided to your attendance area school or to an option school in your middle school service area. Are you suggesting that we stop providing transportation to option schools? That would leave them open only to families with reliable transportation.

    Bus drivers are employees of the transportation company – not the school district. You can’t reassign someone who doesn’t work for you.

  • MmmHmm October 21, 2015 (5:57 am)

    Thanks, @Lynn for clarifying re: bus drivers.
    But yes, then with the funds not used to pay the extra bus drivers (& buses), use those funds towards providing before school care (hiring an outside service?) and charge families who opt to use it a “decreased” fee. OR charge ALL families in the school a small fee to “subsidize” the before school program (whether they use it or not) so the entire school “community” can “share the burden” of having it available (even if they don’t use it).
    In regards to transporation to option schools: yes, if applying to an option school is purely by “choice” (& not for a “special need”), then the family should provide their own transportation.
    I don’t know… I am just trying to throw out options to help “cut the fat” & move funds around to make things work to help accomodate something that is obviously needed. Some might be viable with some work. Just trying to think outside the box.

  • Lynn October 21, 2015 (7:39 am)

    These are public schools not private. You cannot charge families a fee for extracurricular services they do not use.

    The state transportation reimbursement is based on expected costs for the current year and limited to the prior year’s actual costs (adjusted for opening or closing schools.) Charging a fee for transportation or reducing the number of buses would not provide extra cash for the district to spend on other things. It would simply reduce the state reimbursement.

    If option schools are not equally available to students from poor and middle class families the district would close them.

  • MmmHmm October 21, 2015 (8:00 am)

    Thanks, @Lynn.
    However, I understand how things are run “now”, but obviously, the system is not working.
    So, therefore, some of the way things are done need to change.
    We are all charged for things that we don’t necessarily use, BUT are available to us; and are all part of the greater good of our community.
    Families CAN be charged a nominal fee to “help” the greater good of their community (whether it goes into a general “morning care” fund for all SPS schools or just their own school), they just don’t WANT to be. Policies need to be adjusted.

    Thank you, again, for your knowlege & insight.
    You definitely know the ins & outs & it is definitely appreciated!

  • Anton October 21, 2015 (9:07 am)

    I think you are missing my point. A long time ago when bussing was started, (yes I know this as I was a part of the first year of Seattle bussing)it was done to, amongst other things, segregate our schools as many minorities rightly so said there was a difference in the quality of instruction in each. Well that mandatory experiment ended a few years ago by the courts and the main point I was trying to make is why do we have so many option schools these days. Look at a map and you will see there are schools in all geographic areas to service the needs of the local areas population for the most part. Make each school as good as any other in all parts of the city, and maybe have an APP school for those “truly gifted” not the faster learning Spectrum kids. The money saved from getting rid of bussing would more than pay for having much needed specialists at the individual schools to help those kids who truly need.

  • Robert October 24, 2015 (9:25 am)

    i feel that the start times are for the teachers not the students. i went to a rural school we started at 7:30 and finished at 4:30 then we had a one hour bus ride home. disipline is severily lacking in the youth of today. you can’t stay up half the night playing video games and expect to be up bright and early for school. part of the early education is to teach the kids personal responsibility in life. paying for a baby-sitter before school is expensive,and shouldn’t even be in the equation..

    • WSB October 24, 2015 (9:52 am)

      At this point it’s not for most – the Lafayette point (and also K-8 STEM, I believe) is that they now are virtually alone in the late start time for some reason. The rest of the elementaries are at 8 am which for many is earlier, not later, than they were starting. The research does not have anything to do with “staying up half the night playing video games.” For most adolescents, even a little more sleep can make a big difference. Video games hadn’t been invented yet when I was falling asleep on the desk in early afternoon in high school after having been there since pre-8 am. I saw the biological-clock situation again 30+ years later when raising a teenager. Sealth’s start time was already after 8 am when he went there earlier this decade. But again, if you haven’t been following the entire discussion, the waters here got muddied when, rather than split cleanly across “tweens/teens later, younger kids earlier” the schedules had to be somewhat contorted so that the district didn’t spend more money with transportation. And that’s where the protests are now.

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