New School Start/End Times for 2020-2021
As our school district grows, our goal is to do so in a way that preserves our Five Values and ensures that children across our district have similar high quality educational experiences, regardless of which school they attend. Because our 4th elementary school will house grades K-6, we will soon have two schools with 5-6 grade children. Currently, RCI and our elementary schools have different school day schedules. To honor our commitment of maintaining similar educational experiences, we are reviewing options for creating consistency in schedules and doing what is best for all children.
The public presentation at the October 14, 2019 Oregon School Board meeting regarding the school start time working plan is available for all to view (the discussion begins at 1:18:04).
2020-2021 Approved School Start Times
After months of considering options, reviewing factual data and engaging with our school community, the School Board approved the following school start/end times for the 2020-2021 school year. The start times are align with the recommendation provided by the Work Group, which was composed of parents, staff, administrators, and Board members.
School Schedule Considerations
Our district growth and the opening of a fourth elementary school present a number of opportunities to create a school day schedule that is beneficial for children. A number of components must fit together as we create the optimal schedules for children.
- Adolescent Sleep Patterns: the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that middle school and high school students start school no earlier than 8:30 AM. Research shows that later start times are positively associated with improved mental & physical health, improved safety, and improved academic performance.
- Balance Class Sizes: growing in a way that creates consistent experiences and class sizes in our K-6 buildings.
- Student School Schedule: creating a consistent school schedule across K-6 schools allows us to offer the same high quality experiences across buildings.
- Improved Bus Routes: Allowing for a 45-minute differential between grades K-6 and 7-12 school start times will allow for more efficient bus routes and reduce wait times before and after school.
Planning & Engagement Process
We used a 3-step phased process to plan and engage with our school community on the topic of school start/end times for the 2020-2021 school year.
- Responsibly Plan - the administrative team created a working plan based on research, District values, operational components, and logistics. This plan was presented for consideration to the community and School Board.
- Listen - the working plan was shared with families and community members.
- All families were invited to listening sessions that were held in December 2019.
- Oregon School Board has established a work group to review factual information and options regarding the start and end times of district school days.
- Finalize - the Oregon School Board received the Work Group's report during its February 24, 2020 School Board Meeting. School Board members voted on a motion constent with the Work Group recommendation at the March 9, 2020 School Board Meeting.
Adolescent Sleep Research
Research from a variety of organizations show the benefits of sleep for adolescents and specifically recommend that school start no earlier than 8:30 am for middle and high school students. Documented benefits of later start times include:
- Improved physical & mental health,
- Improved safety, and
- Improved academic performance.