Dear Parents and Community Members,
As you may have heard, there is a proposal to change the bell times at Seattle schools which is being presented to us for feedback. The main purpose of changing bell times was to give older kids in middle and high school later start times so that they can get the sleep they need, which is supported by current scientific research. On the flipside, elementary schools would start earlier, which is supported by data showing that younger kids learn best earlier in the morning. Given how late we currently start at Sand Point Elementary and other NE Seattle schools, many parents, staff and community members have been eagerly awaiting an earlier start time for elementary school.
However, if you look at the new start times proposed in the Superintendent’s Final Draft Recommendation and the Community Meeting handout (see links below), all the NE Seattle elementary schools surrounding Sand Point Elementary (including Wedgwood, View Ridge, Bryant, Laurelhurst and Thornton Creek) are being assigned a new 8:00 am start time, while our school is being pushed back even later to 9:40 am!
There is a community input meeting on Monday, October 5th at Jane Addams Middle School at 6:30 pm which is our LAST opportunity to have input before the recommendation goes to the Seattle School District board for approval. As a parent at Sand Point Elementary, I am planning to attend and voice my opposition to our school being excluded from the earlier start time and I hope many of you can join me.
Some of the reasons why an earlier start time for our children is better and why all elementary school deserve the same start times:
– Kids in the elementary age group typically have a circadian rhythm that they are up by 7AM, making peak learning at 9AM. Why should Sand Point Elementary kids miss that window of opportunity?
– With an earlier start time of 8 AM (arrival at 7:45), many working parents will no longer have to worry about before school care which would ease some of the stress of the morning rush and some of the financial burden. Sand Point has many working parents.
– Community based programs and before/after school programs will all have to adjust to earlier school hours for every one of our surrounding schools, and our kids will be left out. Think of all the soccer, ballet, etc. drop in programs that will all start at 2:30 PM for everyone else K-5 and our kids won’t be out until close to 4 PM. Any current morning programs will likely shut down, again leaving our particular children again without options.
So far we have not had any answers from the District as to the reasoning behind starting Sand Point later than the surrounding schools, so we cannot provide those to you. However, it seems that further north, John Rogers and Olympic Hills are also set for later start times. We do not know why, but it does not seem fair or equitable to exclude individual schools from earlier school start times and isolate them from their surrounding neighborhoods. We need some answers from the Seattle School District!
The Seattle School District Superintendent Needs To Hear From All Of Us!
Send an Email To: email@example.com AND firstname.lastname@example.org
AND IF YOU CAN, PLEASE COME TO THE MEETING
Monday, October 5th – 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm at Jane Addams Middle School
Here are the Seattle School District links for more info:
Please forward this information. If you know anyone at the surrounding schools, please encourage them to advocate for a fair solution for ALL of our NE Seattle elementary schools.
Sand Point Elementary PTA Legislative Chair