Since February the departments and the Instructional Council have been reviewing the possibility of a late start. The late start possibility was presented to the Student Executive Council, Site Council and PTSA, and discussed and endorsed by Challenge Success. Essentially, we are moving to an 8:25 A.M. start time and a 3:30 P.M. or 3:35 P.M. dismissal time Monday through Friday. Our discussions have been fruitful and far-reaching on both the advantages and possible logistical concerns. There are many advantages to a consistent later start time for our students and community:
* Research demonstrates that 30-40 minutes of extra sleep has many advantages, particularly around more focus and less fatigue.
* Teachers and staff will gain informal collaboration time, while still maintaining Tutorial and collaboration time on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
* As the construction program begins (new gym, world languages and math/English buildings) a later start time accommodates start and end times for construction, which do not overlap with school start and dismissal times.
* It allows the option to potentially offer zero periods in future years.
* A later start time can also have a positive effect on traffic along the Arastradero Road corridor.
There are also some logistical concerns-which as a colleague stated, will cause some "frictional inconveniences"-but will be worked through:
* The effect on the athletic program and spring sports schedule and competitions.
* A late start would mean beginning practices between 3:45 P.M. and 4:00 P.M., which would still be within the four to six p.m. window, within which most practices fall (depends on sport and facility needs). Most spring competitions are scheduled on Tuesdays and Thursdays, which could mean a 1:00 PM, 2:00 P.M., and/or 2:30 P.M. dismissal time from class (depends on sport and home/away schedules). Tuesday and Thursday would still include an early school dismissal.
* Students may not be able to go home or off campus to get food after school before practice.
* Even before the possibility of a late start was proposed, we were working with Food Services on providing vending machines with viable food choices.
* Students who have after school jobs, co-curricular & extra-curricular activities, and other obligations.
* We appreciate that a later dismissal will have an effect, and we will work with students to find positive solutions.
Although there were many issues that surfaced with our late start discussions, we also recognize there may be issues that did not surface. Keeping that in mind and to understand the overall effect of a late start on the students, staff, and parents/guardians, we will evaluate the late start on an ongoing basis. Logistical issues will be reviewed this week and we will send out all the information and the 2011-2012 bell schedule soon.