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Northshore School District to Consider Changing School Start Times Tuesday

After pressure from a parents group and the circulation of a petition asking to push back the start times, the board has placed the issue on Tuesday's agenda.

 

Should the Northshore school district move school start times? That’s the question that will be discussed at the Tuesday, June 26 board meeting, and a parents group supporting the change is calling for everyone who signed its petition to attend.

Parent Advocates for Later Start (PALS) has been trying to get start times changed since last November. The group started a petition, which now has 1,500 signatures; to get the school district to push back school starts times 20 minutes. Now it is asking all supporters to attend the 7 p.m. meeting.

“Students are especially welcome to speak and show their support on this topic. With over 1,500 parent and student supporters, we can’t let the Board ignore the issue any longer,” Annette Whelan Pals member wrote in an email to Woodinville Patch.

The group did attend the June 12 meeting, hoping the board would discuss the issue, instead, the board voted to put the discussion on the June 26 meeting.

Evidence has been mounting that students function better in school with later start times since a landmark study out of the University of Minnesota in 2002. The study (see PDF) showed students did significantly better when school began after 8 a.m. A more recent study from the Brookings Institute confirmed those findings showing that students who had early start times performed worse throughout the say than their peers who started school later in the morning.

One of the reasons that district has cited before for not being able to change the start times is that is does not the multiple fleets of buses that could handle later start times for all schools. If the high schools and junior highs start later, elementary schools will have to start earlier. The district is also concerned with the impact a change in bus schedule would have on the before school music program.

The school board meets Tuesday, June 26 at 7 p.m. at district headquarters at 333 Monte Villa Parkway, Bothell.

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