Is the Northshore School District high-school start time of 7:10 a.m. too early? | Letter

At 7:10 a.m., the Northshore School District (NSD) currently has the earliest high-school bell time of any district in the region. Research shows that inadequate sleep is associated with poorer academic performance and health, not to mention higher incidents of teen traffic accidents. Parent Advocates for a Later Start (PALS) was created in response to the very early start times of high schools in NSD. PALS has submitted several proposals to the school board demonstrating that there are ways of making modest transportation adjustments to achieve a later high-school start time, all with very little or no additional cost. However, at the board meeting on March 27, the NSD school board voted to table discussion of later high-school start times indefinitely.

Since the March 27 board meeting, PALS has had discussions with the school board. PALS feels a high-school start time of 7:30 a.m. (20 minutes later than the current 7:10 a.m. start) may be within reach for the 2012-13 school year, with a goal of an 8 a.m. start in the future as things in the district fluctuate. The junior-high start times will also adjust later; however the elementary start times most likely won’t need to adjust at all.

The board needs to see overwhelming support from the NSD community on this change before they proceed with looking into a 20-minute later high-school start for next year.

If you have not already signed the PALS petition for a later start and you support a later start, please visit the PALS petition site at: Please sign the petition, and where it prompts:  “Why are you signing? Add a reason (optional)”, please click on the link and write: “Yes, I support a 7:30 high school start time for the 2012-13 school year, with the goal of an even later start in the future”.  Students over age 13 are encouraged to sign the petition, as well.

Parent Advocates for a Later Start (PALS)