Six Seattle public schools will start later next year, including Wedgwood, View Ridge and Bryant elementaries, Superintendent Susan Enfield announced this week.
The school day at those three schools will run from 9:25 a.m. to 3:35 p.m., according to the district’s published list.
These new bell times are a result of changes to transportation for the 2012-13 school year. The School Board voted to move forward with a transportation plan that includes longer yellow bus ride times (up to 45-minute rides) but has minimal impact on bell times. We needed to implement new start times at these six schools to continue our three-tied bus plan (where staggered start times are required so that one bus can make three trips between schools). This change will save the District between $300,000 and $500,000, allowing us to keep further budget cuts away from the classroom.
We know changing bell times is not ideal. We also know that many members of our community would like us to consider later high school start times and earlier elementary start times.
This has major ramifications for high school students, including after-school jobs and athletics, as well as before- and after-school child care for elementary school families.
We are committed to thoroughly studying these ideas, but we ask for your patience as it will require considerable time and public involvement