The Northshore School Board has approved later start times for all Northshore School District buildings beginning in 2017-18. Board members voted 4-1 at the Nov. 22 regular meeting.
The new times will start and end most district schools 25 minutes later than their current times. Visit the Start Times webpage for more information, http://www.nsd.org/Page/29748.
Superintendent Michelle Reid wrote the following letter, emailed to families immediately following the Nov. 22 meeting:
Dear Northshore families,
I am writing to let you know that the Northshore School District will be starting and ending the school day later beginning in 2017-18, a change designed to improve student sleep patterns for better overall health and academic performance.
The Northshore School Board tonight approved a “25-minute roll,” meaning most district schools will start and end 25 minutes later than the current times. While the 25-minute roll may not yet be a perfect solution for all, it represents important progress.
For high schools, the start time will be 7:45 a.m., ending at 2:20 p.m. For middle schools, school will begin at 8:25 a.m. and end at 3 p.m.
Elementary schools will vary, depending on whether they are “late” or “early” start schools. These times could be adjusted somewhat based on transportation needs as the district implements this decision. For now, the plan is to start early elementary schools at 9 a.m. and end at 3:25 p.m., and to start late elementary schools at 9:35 a.m. and end at 4:05 p.m. We will keep you posted as we work through these transportation issues.
This decision comes after many years of wrestling with this complex topic, including the review of significant research and community input. In 2015, the district formed the Start Time Task Force. The task force included teacher, community, parent, student and administrative representatives who devoted many hours and days diving into research and analyzing numerous options to come up with recommendations. We are so grateful for their hard work.
Additionally, a number of community surveys and public meetings generated specific and helpful input from our families. An initial survey showed overwhelming support for starting secondary schools later. A more specific survey last May surfaced several community concerns, including worries about how late some students would be released. This input influenced the task force’s final recommendation for the 25-minute roll – a modification of an earlier recommendation. Finally, the feedback we have received from hundreds of families over recent weeks has been helpful as it emphasized a desire for more on-site child care, among other issues.
I want to assure you that we will do everything we can to mitigate concerns related to our youngest learners while concurrently endeavoring to improve the start time for our adolescent learners. Also, please know that we are investigating child care options to better serve our working families.
Meanwhile, I do believe that these new start times provide a healthy balance for our students and our community, and I want you to know that the board tonight expressed its commitment to continue the discussion.
Thank you for your consideration and input, and for your patience as we work on this complex issue.
Please stay connected to us as we continue our work. Your opinion, ideas and questions matter. Like you, we all want the best possible learning environment for each and every one of our learners here in this amazing community. Together all things are possible.
Michelle Reid, Ed.D. Northshore Schol District Superintendent