A Letter from Seattle Public Schools: Six Schools Get Later Bell Times
Today I am announcing bell times for the 2012-13 school year. After hearing feedback from staff and families, we worked hard to keep the majority of next year’s start times consistent with what is in place this year.
However, there are six schools – View Ridge, Wedgwood, Bryant, McGilvra, North Beach and Adams – that will see their bell times moved as much as 30 minutes later for next year.
These new bell times are a result of changes to transportation for the 2012-13 school year. The School Board voted to move forward with a transportation plan that includes longer yellow bus ride times (up to 45-minute rides) but has minimal impact on bell times. We needed to implement new start times at these six schools to continue our three-tied bus plan (where staggered start times are required so that one bus can make three trips between schools). This change will save the District between $300,000 and $500,000, allowing us to keep further budget cuts away from the classroom.
We know changing bell times is not ideal. We also know that many members of our community would like us to consider later high school start times and earlier elementary start times. This has major ramifications for high school students, including after-school jobs and athletics, as well as before- and after-school child care for elementary school families.
We are committed to thoroughly studying these ideas, but we ask for your patience as it will require considerable time and public involvement. The District will work with families, staff and our current transportation task force to tackling these long-term issues, with recommendations expected for the 2014-15 school year.
The full list of bell times can be found online at http://bit.ly/12-13-Bell-Times. Please let me know if you have any questions.