School Start and End Times Team
In May 2019, we formed a team to begin studying and considering changes to the start times for all our schools.

On January 8, 2020, the team presented its final report. Thousands of students, staff and community members shared their thoughts and preferences throughout this process. Thank you for taking the time to engage with us. 

The team noted the benefits of later start times supported by research. (This research recommends that middle and high schools start no earlier than 8:30 a.m.) However, it also recognized that these benefits are currently outweighed by unintended negative consequences described through surveys, emails, online comments and board meeting remarks. We are listening!

With this in mind, the team agreed on a two-part recommendation:

  • Do not make any changes to current start/end times. 
    Allowing our secondary schools to start before elementary schools works best for our community.

  • Consider future opportunities to move Fairview and Ridgetop middle schools to a later start time. 
    This would respond to concerns regarding the start time of our earliest schools while preserving our current elementary schedules.

The superintendent and school board agreed with the recommendation.

The team completed its charge to study changes to our start/end times that would not result in extra costs to the district. The team emphasized that additional resources in the future (more buses and drivers) could give us more options for schedules. Thank you to the members of this team for their hard work!

The team’s full report outlines its process, findings, recommendation and further considerations:


Team Charge

Provide a recommendation that considers:
     - Research on adolescent sleep findings
     - Experiences of other districts
     - Benefits to students
     - Implications for families and district operations
     - Input from stakeholders

Team Membership

The team included parents/community members, staff and administrators representing schools across the district, including all levels (elementary, middle and high school). View members

Meeting Notes

December 19, 2019
At this meeting, the team was asked to:
-  Reflect back on its work over the past eight months
-  Consider stakeholder input from both surveys
-  Review its charge from the school board
-  Build a recommendation based on its work and input from stakeholders, not on personal choice

December 5, 2019
This meeting was an opportunity for the team to read the comments from the second survey. The team spent the majority of time reading all comments and summarizing stakeholder input. Along with the themes from the student focus groups and social media, concerns about the survey itself and not liking either option were resonant throughout the comments. It should also be noted that several respondents did express a desire for a change to school start/end times. Specific comments about elementary students already being up and ready for school were prevalent among these respondents. The data also clearly indicated that middle school families, students and staff preferred a move to the middle tier

October 17, 2019
The team's fifth meeting was all about data. They looked at results of the 6,500 surveys that were completed by students, parents, staff and community members. The number of completed surveys, together with the fact that approximately 75% of respondents were supportive of a change, was cause for celebration. Team members acknowledged that stakeholders want some form of change. Now, they must determine what type of change is best for our community.

The team looked at option choices made by groups, as well as the strengths and concerns that aligned with each option. After looking at the charge from the school board and the data from the survey, the team decided on what would be next steps.

The team agreed to collect additional information from students on their interest in Option 4. Team members will visit schools and talk to groups of students to gather additional information. Next, the team will develop an additional short survey. This survey will include an opportunity for participants to share their open-ended comments.

The team's next meeting shift to the first week in December in order to allow for the data collection.

- School Start & End Times Presentation #5

September 19, 2019
The team began by looking at our website, as well as our FAQs. Next, they did an activity to review the support sand challenges of a change to school start and end times. The team then turned its attention to the development of a survey to gather feedback from our stakeholders. Several key ideas came from the group:
  • Stakeholders being able to identify all schools children attend
  • Seeing the options that may be available with as close as possible to what might be the start times
  • Identifying the CKMS and CKHS hour offset
  • Thursday early release identifier
  • A first and second choice available
  • ADA availability and other accessibility concerns
  • A separate student survey
  • Making sure people watch the video prior to answering the questions
The intention is to send a survey to stakeholders early in October.

- School Start & End Times Presentation #4

August 15, 2019
The team held its summer meeting and worked on four topics. 

First, they looked at the responses to an email and social media post on June 28 inviting families to submit their questions about school start and end times. Approximately 85 responses were received, which were used to develop a list of Frequently Asked Questions.

Next, the group began to think about what a survey would look like and what information should be gathered from stakeholders to help inform the recommendation. A survey will be developed and likely open during the third week of September. 

The team also looked at four very preliminary options to start and end times. These options are generally the four possibilities of which schools would start first, second and third. The team discussed the pros and cons to each of the options.

Finally, the team looked at the schedule ahead and discussed the timeline and the possibility of additional meetings.

School Start and End Times Presentation #3
- Frequently Asked Questions

June 19, 2019

After a brief review of its work from the first meeting, the team watched and discussed a report regarding the University of Washington's research on Seattle School District's start time changes. Students reported sleeping an average of 34 additional minutes, as well as a 4.5% increase in academic achievement. 

The team also spent some time in a behind-the-scenes look at student transportation. This included an overview of how routes are scheduled to transport almost 8,000 students on a daily basis.

Finally, the team spent some time on an activity: facts we know, facts we think we know, and questions we need to answer. The team was given a "homework assignment" to work on for the month of July and will meet again in August. 

School Start and End Times Presentation #2
Sleepfull in Seattle (video)

May 23, 2019
School Start and End Times TeamDuring the first meeting, 
David McVicker and Franklyn MacKenzie welcomed the team together and thanked them for their participation. The work will be complex and important for our students.

After the welcome and introductions, the team reviewed its charge, timeline and process. They watched a short video in order to get a grounding in some of the science behind sleep in adolescence. Next, they worked on a process to think about all the areas to consider as they work through this effort. This document of considerations will grow as they study the possibilities of changing start times.

Finally, the team reviewed the timeline and meeting schedule, emphasizing the importance of communication within the district as well as with the community.

The team will meet again on June 19. The agenda will include a discussion on research findings and a "Transportation 101" session to learn more about the complexities of busing students across the district. 

- School Start and End Times Presentation #1
- Sleep Wellness and School Start Times (video)