Riverview School District

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Riverview School Board Approves Later School Start Times
Changes to Begin with 2017-18 School Year


Dear Riverview Parents, Students, Staff, and Community Members:

After researching and discussing the issue of changing school start times for next year, the Riverview School District School Board has approved moving school start and end times later 15 minutes, beginning with the 2017-18 school year. This change will be implemented at all Riverview school sites.

School start times have been studied over the past 20 years in Riverview, but the issue was revisited recently as neighboring districts began making changes to their start and end times.

An FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) document, regarding this change, follows below.

Sincerely,

Dr. Anthony L. Smith
Superintendent
Riverview School District

FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions


Q1:
Why are we moving start times later?
A1:
School start times have been studied in Riverview over the past 20 years, including committee work with all stakeholders; four School Board Work Studies on the topic; staff, community, and other presentations by the superintendent; and ongoing time dedicated to the issue at school board meetings over the past two years. The research is compelling for a later start time for middle school and high school students. A challenge for Riverview is a three-tiered busing system (tiered busing system explained on page 2) and the fact that changing to two-tiers would cost well over a million dollars initially with significant ongoing costs. A two-tiered system would allow us to move elementary earlier and start high school later, with the middle school starting at the same time as high school.

Q2: Why not just trade elementary with high school?
A2: That would have the elementary starting too early and the high school starting too late. Also, we need to be somewhat similar with surrounding districts because of schedules for high school classes offered out of district, such as career and technical education opportunities, and other academic programs. The high school schedule also impacts how much class is missed due to sports, arts and activities schedules.

Q3: What are other school district systems in our area doing?
A3: Most school districts in our area have already changed or are in the process of moving high school start times later in the morning. School districts that have public transit for school transportation such as Bellevue and Seattle have changed high school start times more significantly, with middle schools starting at widely varying times. However, districts in large geographic areas are adjusting start times similarly to Riverview. For example, after a three-year process, the Northshore School District will be implementing changes this fall that are similar to Riverview’s approved schedule. The Snoqualmie Valley School District currently starts high school at 7:40 a.m., middle school at 8:18 a.m. and elementary at 9:05 a.m.

Q4: Fifteen minutes doesn’t seem like much time. Why change at all?
A4: Fifteen minutes does make a difference. Keeping our current high school start times would make us outliers in our region and on the Eastside. If left the same, we would be one of the only high schools in the Puget Sound Region starting school prior to 7:30 a.m., with middle school start times also earlier than most systems. Our elementary start times will be slightly later than many systems. We did not want elementary to move start times more than 15 minutes forward.

Q5: For employees, will this affect the time I start and end my work day?
A5: Yes, slightly for most employees.

Q6: For employees, will contracted hours remain the same?
A6: Yes, the total hours for contracted time will remain the same, per collective bargaining agreements (CBAs).

Three-Tier Busing System Defined: Under a three-tier structure, one bus can run three different routes for three different school start times. Because the state of Washington and the entire country is currently experiencing a bus driver shortage, three start times ensures we have enough bus drivers, reduces the number of buses needed for routes and reduces overall costs.

Comparison Table: School Start Times for 2016-2017 and 2017-2018


School

2016-2017 Start and End Times

2017-2018 Start and End Times

Cedarcrest High School

7:20 AM to 2:00 PM

7:35 AM to 2:15 PM

Tolt Middle School

8:07 AM to 2:45 PM

8:25 AM to 2:57 PM

RLC CHOICE Program

8:15 AM to 2:25 PM

8:25 AM to 2:50 PM

Carnation Elementary School

9:10 AM to 3:30 PM

9:25 AM to 3:45 PM

Cherry Valley Elementary

9:10 AM to 3:30 PM

9:25 AM to 3:45 PM

Stillwater Elementary

9:10 AM to 3:30 PM

9:25 AM to 3:45 PM

Eagle Rock Multi-age Program

9:25 AM to 3:40 PM

9:40 AM to 4:00 PM

Note: PARADE and CLIP are ALE (Alternative Learning Experience) programs and have varying student schedules. They are scheduled separately through the Superintendent’s Office.