As we continue to be challenged with our ability to implement healthy start times for all, we remain committed to working on ways to improve these times for all students. As this is a project that has been active for over ten years in our district, we have looked at many different scenarios and options over these many years. Currently, I am working with a technical workgroup, comprised of community members and staff along with a traffic engineering consultant to aggressively craft scenarios and test them over the course of the current school year. I will be making a mid-year report to the Board in January on any possible adjustments we can make (that would not be disruptive) for the remainder of the current school year. By the end of the current school year, I have been directed to provide the board a start time plan for the 2020-2021 school year that is healthy for all of our students based on the best research available to us.
This start time work will be assisted by the opening of the new elementary school in the fall of 2020 and the building capacity opening on the Skyview/Canyon Creek campus. Once we are able to open these schools, and thus have space to move our elementary music programs into the school day, as well as more regionally distribute students in special programs, our transportation routing and student time on our buses will likely be positively mitigated.
We are planning a current and updated ‘start time’ landing page on our website that will keep you updated as well as I will be making monthly reports to the Board on our progress. As part of our web presence, I would encourage any of you who have ideas we might utilize in our technical workgroup to please submit them (to me directly for now) and eventually to our web page access tool. An example of work being done in other parts of the country is a partnership with MIT and the Boston Public Schools that I find intriguing. As we think about what the noted study examined, we continue to look for ways in which to transfer the project metrics and gain a positive outcome for our district. More to come….
Michelle Reid, Ed.D.