Parents Ask School Board for a Later Start to School Day

More than 1,500 parents have signed a petition to start high school 20 minutes later next year.


There are 1,500 + supporters of a later start for high school and jr. high in Northshore school district; and yesterday some of those community members attended the school board meeting to speak of their support. One parent read a statement from an area psychologist who could not attend due to work. Her statement was moving as she cited that most of her clients are adolescents from the Northshore community and that she can attribute their depression, anxiety, etc. directly to them not getting the adequate sleep they need at this time in their lives.

Another parent shared that they moved here from Austin, TX, where high school starts at 9:00 a.m. and what a “shock” it was to hear that her kids were now going to have to be alert and ready to learn at 7:10 a.m! Another parent shared that her husband buys 5 hour Energy drink by the case at Costco because unfortunately, that is the only way that their daughter is able to be alert enough to catch the bus at 6:30 and start school by 7:10 a.m.

On the agenda at yesterday’s (June 12) meeting was the discussion involving whether or not a whole new structure should be implemented at both the high schools and jr. highs regarding 9th graders in some of the sports offered. A parent concerned about the early start time spoke to both of these issues. She stated that while her kids are involved in both school and outside sports teams, she finds it frustrating that the board is considering a recommendation that would ultimately cost the district money. She stated that district transportation staff has said they can implement a 20 minute later start for $45,000, and yet the board has done nothing to look into the feasibility of this possibility, yet they are willing to consider the sports proposal.

The school board will be discussing whether or not to pursue ways to facilitate a later start at their next board meeting on June 26, 7:00 p.m. PALS hopes that many more supporters of a later start will attend that night as well to either speak at the public comment section at the beginning of the meeting or to simply be a presence and show support.

Again,  What is it going to take for the school board to see this is an issue that the taxpayers would like to see addressed? One would have thought that after what happened over in Seattle a few weeks ago would have made the board realize that early start times are an issue to be dealt with!


--Information from PALS MEMBERS

kathy fedor June 19, 2012 at 03:56 AM
I don't know many adults that have to be to work by 7:10 am, so it's not getting anyone ready for the real world. It is taking away their opportunity to do their best and make the most of their education. Their brain sleep cycles are different and that can't be changed, school start times can.
Martin Morehouse June 19, 2012 at 04:29 AM
My bus is full at 6:30, so is the freeway. Someone must have to be at work by 7. My high school ran shifts; I was on the early one. If your school schedule is the priority, that's what you set your life for. If activities and evenings are your priority, you'll have a different schedule. Although I agree, that given a choice, high school should start later.
Berta Phillips June 19, 2012 at 04:50 AM
My daughter often has to be at work at 7 AM, which means leaving the house by 6 to get there on time (traffic is terrible at that hour). When my kids were in high school it was not unusual for them to arrive before 7 AM. For my oldest child, an earlier start time would have been a good thing, as he was a morning person (he did NOT get that from me!). When Superintendent Francois interviewed for the position, he indicated that he was a big supporter of community involvement in the decision making process. I think a survey that allows community members to vote for or against the issue would be an excellent opportunity to show that he really does value our input.
Diana June 19, 2012 at 05:16 AM
Adults going to work at 6:30AM is different than teens going to school at 6:30AM. Adult brains are different than teen brains. This is about what is best for the majority of students, not the few that do "fine" with that schedule. Also, I don't think we need to vote, over 1,500 people signed a petition. The community is giving input...
Deborah Taylor June 21, 2012 at 10:56 PM
There is so much competition to excel in School and Sports now days, that our children must stand out so they look good to a prospective college . I think our children are under too much pressure. At least, under more pressure than I was growing up in the 1970's. Students have very little time anymore with taking AP classes, being in a sport after school, church, (maybe a social life), etc.. And yes, my daughter has had to acclimate to this schedule. In turn, her immune system is so drained that she has had MONO, numerous illnesses, and has missed a lot of school. She needs that extra sleep in the morning!!! I think 8am is a reasonable time to start High School. Our children are the most important !!! Not the bus schedule or what ever excuse that is being used for the early start of school. Listen up School Board and Superintendent, take care of your High School students! The parents want the start time for High School to be changed!!!


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