School could start 25 minutes later next year in Edmonds School District

Board to hear task force recommendation
Mar 10, 2017
Photo by: Brian Soergel Students at Edmonds Elementary School, pictured, could soon be starting classes at 8:25 a.m., instead of the current 8 a.m.

The School Start Times Task Force will make a recommendation to the Edmonds School District Board of Directors to shift all schools start times back by 25 minutes.

The recommendation comes after a year-long review and came to fruition after a task force spent the last five months developing and reviewing all numerous possible scenarios and options.

The group put forward a survey last month, presenting four options.

There were 6,317 survey responses – 4,019 parents, 1,187 staff, 930 students and 181 community members. There were four options that included a “flip” model that would have had high schools and middle schools swap their start times and some elementaries starting before 8 a.m., a proposal to only move the high schools start time from 7:20 a.m. to 8 a.m. by putting a $4 million levy measure before voters to purchase the buses needed to do that, the option of shifting all schools by 25 minutes, and “status quo” – to not change anything.

“While the survey results did not show a decisive favorite option across all groups, the majority of task force members believed there was a consensus among the bulk of respondents to the survey calling for some change and therefore they felt compelled to not leave the status quo," said Assistant Superintendent Dr. Patrick Murphy. “Some committee members preferred the status quo, and some believed that movement to a 25-minute later time was not enough in light of medical research. In the end, the committee landed on the 25 minute delay.”

The task force acknowledged that this recommendation probably poses the greatest concerns for the “late start” elementary and K-8 schools, where members of those communities expressed on the survey the concern about their start times already being too late.

Currently, seven schools start at 9:20 a.m. and end at 3:50 p.m. The committee hoped that if this recommendation were to be implemented that the District transportation staff could possibly find ways to lessen the impact to those schools by adjusting their schedules from having to move the full 25 minutes back, Murphy said.

The survey results, a summary of the Feb. 28 meeting and other information from task force meeting are posted to the website.

Murphy and representatives from the task force will present the recommendation to the School Board at its March 14 meeting. The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. and will be held in the Edmonds School District Educational Services Center, 20420 68th Ave. W, Lynnwood.

The proposal to push the entire system back 25 minutes is what neighboring Northshore School District is doing. When is the appropriate and ideal time for young people in the height of their growth and development to start school is a national conversation, with many districts already having tackled the issue and adjusted start times.

Seattle moved its start times last year.





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