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