June 16, 2016
Dear Seattle Public Schools families,
Schools’ start and end times will change for the 2016-17 school year for all Seattle Public Schools.
Bell time revisions can be found here: http://bit.ly/1XYIVGV.
The change in school start times is designed to improve academic outcomes for secondary students. Research has shown that teenagers benefit from later start times resulting in more sleep, better health, reduced discipline and improved truancy rates. During the district’s community engagement process, most feedback from the community supported earlier start times for our younger students. Additionally, research has shown no negative impacts on elementary students when school begins earlier.
We recognize the challenges families face as they restructure their schedules, including potential impacts on before and after school childcare, after school activities and nutrition programs. The district has identified resources to help families address these challenges. These resources can be found here: http://bit.ly/1sIsCR3.
The decision to change bell times comes after a year-long analysis including family and school surveys, a national review of research and recommendations from a community based task force. Additional information on the bell times analysis process and community engagement can be found here: http://bit.ly/1t6K3e7.
We are working with community partners to help increase awareness about these changes and the resources available for families in advance of the 2016-17 school year.
Additionally, you can follow the district’s social media channels (Facebook and Twitter) for the latest updates throughout the summer. Families should also feel free to contact their school principal with any questions.
Pegi McEvoy, Assistant Superintendent Operations
Seattle Public Schools