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    Board Approves Bell Time Change in 2016-17 School Year
    Posted on 11/19/2015

    Seattle School Board Votes to Change Bell Times for 2016-17 School Year

    The Seattle School Board voted 6-1 Wednesday, November 18, 2015, evening, to adopt a Transportation Service Standard that would revise arrival and departure times for the 2016-17 school year.

    The changes to bell times will authorize the superintendent to implement the cost-neutral plan as recommended by the Board, allowing minor modifications as necessary for implementation.

    Additionally, the district reviewed recent community feedback and made the following adjustments:

    1. Adjust all tiers 5 minutes earlier

    2. Add a modification that allows the superintendent to decrease the number of 3rd tier schools if “actual routing during spring 2016” can adjust schools while maintaining the no cost option. We will be asking for schools to volunteer to be considered (through the principals) as we realize this may be considered disruptive by school communities and they may not wish to go through this process. Any changes would be announced prior to the end of the school year.

    The recommendation reflects Seattle Public Schools’ extensive community and stakeholder outreach over the past year. This is in response to a resolution approved by the School Board in March 2014 related to ongoing discussions between School Public Schools Boards and superintendents since 2008, around the benefits of shifting to later start times for adolescents.

    “We will become the largest district in the country to make this switch, and hopefully we will set a trend,” said Board Director Sharon Peaslee. “This is a historic moment.”

    The resolution directed the superintendent to determine feasibility, costs, impacts and logistics of shifting to later start times for adolescents, for implementation in the 2016-17 school year, while continuing to simplify the transportation standards and align them with the Student Assignment Plan. The Bell Time Analysis is the outcome of this directive.

    Transportation costs will increase in 2016-17 due to enrollment growth, boundary changes and special education program service updates. That amount is estimated to be $182,500.00.