District Seeks Feedback Until June 8

District Seeks Feedback on Proposed Start-End Time Options
Posted 5/15/2018

If you were unable to attend the community meeting at Simley High School’s Spartan Center on May 15, the district is offering an opportunity to share your thoughts on the school start and end time options being considered.

Beginning immediately and through the end of the school year, you are invited to review information about the proposed options. Highlights of the review and proposed options are included in the presentation that was shared at the community meeting. Click here to view the community meeting presentation.

The current considerations are to stay with the current times or flip the elementary and secondary schedules to have elementary schools beginning at 7:50AM and secondary students beginning at 8:30AM.

As at the community meeting, you will be asked to share three positive aspects and three concerns raised with each of the two options in the following survey.

Click here to participate in the brief school start time survey until Friday, June 8.

Once compiled, the information will be shared with the ISD 199 Start and End Time Review Committee and School Board as the district determines the best option to accommodate the learning and well-being of all students.

It is anticipated that the school board will schedule a listening session prior to a final decision in the fall. District communications will keep parents informed of progress moving forward, and if the school board approves any change, it would be implemented at the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year to give families time to adjust.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts about this important educational decision for the future of the children in our community.

BACKGROUND: During the 2016-2017 school year, the School Start and End Time Review Committee determined that more conversation was needed about changing school start and end times at the elementary and secondary levels. The committee reconvened in February to find out more about the impact of school start and end time changes on elementary students, transportation, and activities and athletics.

One of the committee’s first meetings after reconvening featured a presentation by Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare sleep medicine specialist Dr. John Garcia. He explained the basics of sleep science and provided more information about research on the sleep patterns of elementary-aged children. Clips of Dr. Garcia’s presentation are available on this Start Time Review webpage. The committee also worked with the ISD 199 Transportation Department and ISD 199 Activities Department to review bussing options, pick-up and drop-off times, and athletics and activities practice times that would accompany different school start options. The transportation and activities information will also be available on the Start Time Review webpage.

This new information, combined with additional research, will lead to a final decision on whether to change secondary start times to 8:30 AM, the start time that has been shown to increase student achievement, or remain with the current times. A decision is anticipated to be made by the fall of 2018. As the committee reviews information, they will recommend an option that maximizes student learning, maintains student safety, maintains or enhances student opportunities, and efficiently utilizes district resources. Any recommendation, if approved by the school board, will be implemented for the 2019-2020 school year to give families a year to plan for the changes.

Community members can also send questions or concerns to info@isd199.org