Bell Times, they are a changin’

Seattle Public School bell times (School start times) are changing as of 2016-2017 school year. The district has published their draft schedule in order to align high school and middle school start times with overwhelming evidence that show adolescents do better in school when their school day starts later.

As a result of this change, elementary schools have been split into two times: one earlier than the high schools: Tier one (8am start) and one later: Tier Three (9:40am start) The argument made by the school district in favor of the three different times, is that fewer buses and drivers are needed which therefore saves the district money (about 8 million dollars is the district’s estimate, though that budget has not been made publicly available)

Olympic Hills has been slated to start at 9:40 starting in 2016-2017. At our open house, the PTA was able to distribute and collect surveys where families can indicate whether they are in favor of this change or prefer the earlier time, but if you haven’t filled out the survey, you can either take one from the PTA bulletin board across the hallway from the main office or download the “Letter to families of elementary students” in your preferred language here: Bell Times survey print it and fill it out and return to the front office or with your child no later than Friday morning October 16.

The form is not completely clear, so to clarify:

If you prefer the 9:40 start time, put your X next to “I support the 2016-2017 bell times as proposed in the recommendation”

If you prefer the 8:00 start time, put your X next to “I would prefer the other option”

Feel free to include comments, and please print: Everything noted will be included in the data our PTA reports to the school district.

At community forums and blogs, various groups and individuals have raised concerns about the 3 tiered bell start times (particularly the later start time of 9:40) and some are currently advocating for a two tiered start time; which means that all elementary schools would start at the same time. Others have expressed the desire to keep their current start times. It is not clear whether the two tiered start time or keeping current 2015-2016 start times will be considered, but please note in the comments if either is your preference.