2017-2018 Start Times As Early as 7:45 a.m. – Tell SPS Board Your Thoughts NOW

We need your help once more.

In October 2016, Seattle Public Schools surveyed families to gather feedback surrounding yet another amendment to bell times. This change go into effect next year (2017-2018) and would include adding 20 minutes to the instructional day four days per week, and releasing early one day a week to allow for more teacher collaboration.

In order to adopt these time changes, transportation routes must be modified and, therefore, start and end times across all tiers are affected. Genesee Hill is a Tier 1 school – early start, early leave. 11,108 responses were received – the results are attached as well as a summary of findings below.

The school board took over the recommendation process; the resulting proposal was to start school 10 minutes early, end 10 minutes later and leave early every Wednesday. The proposed solution however, doesn’t appear to reflect the feedback received from so many families that will be impacted by these bell time changes.They are also trying to figure out how to cover a 2-tier transportation option, but it results in additional cost that the district cannot cover, yet.

We need you to advocate directly to the Seattle School Board – tell them what you think about their Bell Time Plan for the 2017-2018 school year. What you recommend to them is up to you. As a Tier 1 school, starting earlier (7:40 AM arrival, 7:45 AM start) may be difficult for our student community. An early dismissal mid-week may be difficult for working parents to accommodate; a Friday early dismissal may be more doable. We are again bound by budget constraints, as a two-tier bus system would be preferable, but the district can’t afford to pay for it – at least not right now, but may have some potential solutions that would allow for a 2-tier system to be implemented.

There isn’t going to be a single solution that meets everyone’s needs, but there is STILL TIME to communicate your suggestions to the Board. Thank you once again for your advocacy!

Tell them how their recommended solution, a 20 minute split (10 minutes earlier, 10 minutes later) with an early dismissal on Wednesday (every week) would impact your family. Make a suggestion on an option that may work better, see the survey for options presented originally.

SCHOOL BOARD: schoolboard@seattleschools.org
West Seattle Director: leslie.harris@seattleschools.org

SURVEY RESULTS (click here)

Family Results 11,108 responses

Tier 1 Families (5,683) – These are the EARLY Start Schools Currently with a 7:55 AM start

  • 86.5% add time to the end of the day
  • 8.2% split the time
  • 5.3% add time to the beginning of the day

Tier 2 and 3 Schools (5,209)

  • 47.8% (2,488) of Tier 2 and 3 families prefer adding time to the beginning of the day
  • 24% prefer adding it to the end of the day
  • 28.4% prefer a time split


  • 301 Tier 1 Families want time added to beginning of the day v. 4,915 families who want it added to the end of the day
  • 2,488 Tier 2/3 families want the time added to the beginning of the day v. 1,250 who want it added to the end of the day
  • 6,165 families across all three tiers want time added to the end of the day v. 2,801 who want it added to the beginning of the day

That’s a 2 to 1 margin who want the time added to the end of the day – according to the SPS school survey results.

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