We dug deep on this issue, knowing how much it would affect and impact not only our families, but our staff and community partners as well. The two-year decision making process included work by a 20-member School Start Time Advisory Committee of parents, certified and classified staff, business leaders, athletics representatives and more. We also conducted a community forum on start times and a broad based survey. In all, we heard from more than 5,000 voices. Support for changing start times was consistent across all groups — including staff, students, parents and community members.
Closer look at staff input
- Start Time Committee: Staff members served alongside parents and community members on an advisory committee to evaluate start times.
- Community Forum: Dozens of staff members participated in the community forum that took place January 2018 and provided feedback that helped shape this decision
- Survey: We received nearly 700 responses from staff members on our school start times survey. Of those, 56 percent supported changing school start times.
After careful consideration, we concluded that an earlier start time for primary schools and later start times for secondary schools was both feasible and supported by the majority of people who engaged in the process.
While we had consistent support for this change, I recognize that there are many who would like to keep our current school start times. For those of you who served on the committee, participated in the forum, took the community survey or who messaged me about this topic — please know that I read every comment and took all of your feedback to heart when making this decision.
I want to express my gratitude to the hundreds of staff members who provided feedback on potential school schedules. Your input has been important in determining a final schedule plan that both meets our desire to ensure the teaching and learning environments our students and staff deserve and the needs of our families and community.
We are making this announcement now to give our staff, families and the community ample time to plan. Please know we will be working throughout the next months with association leadership and getting feedback from our employees across the district as we work to develop specifics regarding work schedules and other key details. Please look for upcoming opportunities to provide feedback on this process in the months to come.
We are conducting communication outreach to families and community partners. We hope that having the information now will help families and our community plan ahead for next year.
Changing school start times is not a decision we made lightly. Rather, this is a decision based on what we believe would best serve our students today and into the future. When we keep students at the heart of our decisions, we know we are on the right path.
I appreciate the work that all of you do each day to support our schools and students.
Thank you for your partnership today and always,
Shay Mikalson, Superintendent