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Iteration 3: Better Elementary School Start Times At No Additional Cost Lisa C. Newmark, Ph.D. Presented to the School Board, #96 January.

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Presentation on theme: "Iteration 3: Better Elementary School Start Times At No Additional Cost Lisa C. Newmark, Ph.D. Presented to the School Board, #96 January."— Presentation transcript:

1 Iteration 3: Better Elementary School Start Times At No Additional Cost Lisa C. Newmark, Ph.D. Presented to the School Board, #96 January 21, 2009 Fairfax County, Virginia

2 Elementary Schools and the Start Time Issue Elementary schools are 70% of the countys schools and educate 50% of the countys students Elementary schools now start across a very broad range of time windows: 2

3 Parents Perspectives on Elementary School Start Times What schedules do ES parents prefer? What changes to ES schedules are proposed in the third iteration of the TTF-inspired re- scheduling? How well do the proposed changes match parents desires? 3

4 Survey of Elementary School Parents FCCPTA parent survey conducted in the summer of 2008 obtained feedback from a broad cross-section of 6,000+ parents of 11,000+ students, including 5,000+ students at 136 of the countys 137 elementary schools Parents were asked for their reactions to the TTFs recommendation to move more ES to earlier start times, between 7:50 and 8:55 4

5 What Do Elementary School Parents Want? Parents reactions to alternative start times: – 58% of ES parents surveyed felt the shift to an earlier window would be good for students, 8% thought it would be bad, and 34% felt it would be neither bad nor good – When asked to choose between an 8:00 start time and a 9:30 start time, 58% of ES parents preferred 8:00, 33% preferred 9:30, and 9% had no opinion 5

6 How Do Later Start Times for Middle and High Schools Affect Care of Elementary School Students? About 95% of ES parents would not have a problem with later middle/high school start times affecting older childrens availability to provide care for ES students; only about 5% of ES parents would find it hard to accommodate later middle/high school schedules – 84% of ES parents do not rely on an older child for care of ES students; only 16% said an older child provides before- school or after-school care for their ES students – For these 16% of families, 62% said it would be easy to accommodate to later MS and HS start times, 31% said it would be hard, and 7% had no opinion 6

7 What Elementary School Start Times Does the Third Iteration Provide? Many more ES are in earlier start time windows, although a significant number of ES would start during the latest window Most schools (and students 1 ) would experience a change – Most changes would be to an earlier start time 1 Data on school size (number of students per school) were also analyzed, with patterns of results extremely similar to those found for data on number of schools. This indicates that current and proposed start times are generally the same, overall, across schools of different sizes. 7

8 Elementary School Start Times: Number of Schools, in Windows of 10-Minute Increments 8

9 Elementary School Start Time Change: Number of Schools by Degree of Change 9

10 Percentages of Elementary Schools by Degree of Start Time Change 10

11 How Well Does the Third Iteration Proposal Match Parents Wishes? There is no one-size-fits-all resolution, but: – Most ES parents (58%) prefer an earlier start time (8:00), but some parents (33%) prefer a later start time (9:30) – The current proposal provides earlier start times than the current schedule for most schools (61%) but... – Some schools (22%) would have later start times than the current schedule On the whole, the silent majority of ES parents will be pleased with the proposed ES start time changes, which bring no additional cost 11

12 Sources of Information Winsler, Adam, Henry Tran, and Drew Solyst (2008). FCCPTA School Start Time Survey – 2008 Results. Report from George Mason University to the FCCPTA. Data on current ES start times and student body size obtained from Data on third iteration ES start times obtained from Linda Farbry, January 16,


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