Friday, January 15, 2010

Hot topic: SFUSD start times

This from an SFKFiles reader:
I’ve heard rumors that the budget cuts will cut the school buses. If this is the case, is it likely that schools may change their start times (I’m most interested in the possibility of the 7:50 ones moving times up)? Presumably, this would require a decision from a majority of the school community on a case by case basis, but I think it could change things a lot.

81 comments:

  1. Hmm...

    Why do we need busing if you go to your local school.

    Seriously, would you rather have the board of education pay for busing or to pay teacher, librarians, PE or art than a bus.

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  2. right, 11:38, it's just that simple. except it's not.

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  3. time changes DO NOT require a decision from the majority of the school community. two SFUSD schools i was involved in changed start times without.

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  4. Which schools changed their start times? I'm curious to know...

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  5. I would think if we do move to a more neighborhood centric lottery system that might be cause for less busing. I wonder if that would influence start times. The 7:50 start times at so many schools eliminated them from our list. Too early!! But to be at a school that changes its start time would be very frustrating.

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  6. 11:38,

    Once upon a time people went to their local school. Then after Brown v. Board of Education (1954) mandated desegregation, whites fled the integrated schools within cities. Then in the 1970s, busing was implemented to desegregate the newly segregated schools. Then whites fled city public schools altogether and moved to the burbs, parochials, and the privates. After busing was viewed to have failed, things like the lottery emerged to try to desegregate the schools without forced busing. Now, school choice is impossible without some kind of bus system, because lower-income parents who do not own cars or who work long hours (not to mention middle-income parents in both categories) have no way of getting their kids across town.

    As a working parent I would rather the board of ed pay for a bus system, teachers, librarians, art, and a bus system. If K-12 funding were restored to pre-Prop 8 days, or even pre-Arnold days, this would not be a problem.

    Love,

    Someone who knows the rudiments of American and California history

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  7. 4:26:

    I am in total agreement with you. I'm pretty sure you mean Proposition 13, though.

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  8. Ditto on the Prop. 13 comment. So much for knowing your CA history! (Just kidding.)

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  9. Ooops, 4:26 here, well, good point. But doesn't 13 look like 8 if you squint? And hey, I'm sure Prop 8 ruined the public schools too; we just don't know how yet.

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  10. LOL way to be a bitch and wrong oh purveyor of history

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  11. 10:22, spare us the teenage acroynms and the obscenities. Also, hello, did you recognize any ironic self-deprecation when she replied in 9:02? Her post is right on, number amnesia aside.

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  12. Acronyms. Acronyms. Acronyms. Sheesh, what is it with my early morning typing?

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  13. Hey 4:26,

    Thank you.

    I'm just wondering, now, at this late date, if using an integration approach to fixing our schools is the only way to go.

    Most parents do now have to drive their kids to school. Many families now are more than happy to have a diverse classroom.

    The drop out rate for African Americans is still unacceptably high.

    However, in reading many comments from the AA parents at Cobb, they didn't seem to be asking for a racially integrated classroom, but just a good, local school.

    Of course, many AA families don't want to be in a segragated school, but I think the greater issue is that the school is not good, not that it is segregated.

    I'm not saying that diversity isn't important, but it is certainly not the only issue.

    Happy Martin Luther King Day.

    Let's hope that we can still have a dream. My favorite MLK speech is not that one, but this:

    "A Time to Break Silence."
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article2564.htm

    As to start time, I think that those early start times are a problem for most kids. It is just too early and does not put kids in their optimum awake zone in order to be able to learn.

    And yes, I know that many parents have to get to work by 8:00am. However, before-school care would make it possible for these families to put their kids in a school with a more reasonable 8:30 start time.

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  14. On the 7:50 start time, I would encourage people not to write off 1/3 of the schools in the city (including some really good ones) just because of that. Yes, it's early and it's an adjustment - but don't narrow your options just because of it. Many people in 7:50 start time schools (like us) found it a little tricky to get used to at first but it's definitely do-able.

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  15. Please don't suggest that schools shouldn't start before 8:30 for the welfare of the kids unless you've got solid research to back that up. It's just silly. My kids are ready to go when class starts at 8:00. Spend 15 mins in any 7:50 school and I promise you see plenty of happy ready-to-go kids. For many people it works really well. I can't imagine what shape my kids would be in by 3:30 if we had a 9:30 start time!

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  16. Later start times make a huge difference for adolescents and their academic achievement. If there's research for the elementary school set, I haven't seen anything substantial in a quick google search. But we hoped that we wouldn't wind up at a 7:50 am start time school. Sleep is really important (check out the research in NurtureShock) - and we'd need to have the big one in bed by 7 to get her enough - which means that she would get very little, if any, daddy time during the week thanks to his work schedule. Our 8:40 start time works pretty well for our family - The kids are up by 7-7:30 and we can have breakfast together before the day's insanity begins and the evenings, the big one gets a good chunk of dad time when he gets home at 6:30/7...If he had a job where he could be home by 5:30 we'd feel differently, but that's the way it works!

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  17. My kids are at at 7:50 school and I can confirm you will see lots of happy kids at the school at 7:50am. I think it's easiest generally on families that live near the school. But for us, our son has really suffered with the early start time. He is chronically exhausted because he needs so much sleep, but has such a hard time getting to bed by 7pm, or for that matter falling asleep. It has been really, really challenging emotionally. It also means that there's a huge rush each evening to get everything done -- homework, bath if needed, dinner, clean up, reading if anyone is ambitious, etc -- to say nothing of seeing less of his Dad. I like the school, but really feel like things would be a lot better with a later start time.

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  18. We're at a 7:50 a .m. start time school and love that there is plenty of time to squeeze in a quick committee meeting before going off to work.

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  19. "Please don't suggest that schools shouldn't start before 8:30 for the welfare of the kids unless you've got solid research to back that up."

    Hi, 9:58am here.

    Again, I'm not trying to suggest that everybody should have to move to an 8:30 start time, just that there should be a 7:45-8:30 drop off window with before-school care.

    If you're interested in a socioeconomically diverse classroom, that would seem to make sense.

    There has been quite a lot of research in this country regarding the negative effect of early start times on teenage children. Negative effects range from sleepiness to depression. I believe that there is little research on elementary aged children because it is difficult to create a reliable control group.

    I did come across a study done in Brazil in which they found that there is negative effect on "awakeness" amongst elementary aged school children who start school before 8:am.

    I know of very few traditional cultures that wake up before dawn. A 7:45am start time does necessitate that a child wake up before dawn for at least four months of the school year.

    Many parents may be very happy with the 7:45 start time. However, many families may not be aware of the negative effect it has on their child's wakefulness or mood.

    There do seem to be a large portion of families that find the early start time unworkable

    I'm just suggesting that there should be more schools with a 7:45-8:30am drop off window with school starting at 8:30am.

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  20. I recall when I was kid, school started at 8 am for everyone and in high school, even 7 am for early period. I think this issue really relates to what is easier for the parents. Right now, I am at work by 7:30 am everyday so a 7:50 am start time actually seems late to me,

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  21. 7:14 PM:

    You're universalizing your ability to easily wake up before dawn. Many people, child, adolescent and adult, do not have this ability.

    See http://www.sleepforscience.org/resources/start.php

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  22. I have never been a morning person. It really doesn't matter how early I go to bed. If I have to wake up before 7 I feel like I have a slight hangover all day (without the drinking!). If we get a school with a 7:50 start time I will get to look forward to feeling slightly hungover for six years. For those of you who are morning people - you are lucky.

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  23. We have a (coveted and lovely) school with an early start time, and it is my single biggest gripe with the school. We live close by, and wake the kids up as late as we absolutely can, but we still have to wake them up every morning in the winter. Like most people have said, they would have to be in bed by 7 to wake up by themselves, and that is really hard to do. They are more tired than they need to be, and it DOES affect their mood and ability to learn. One would think that it would be ideal for after school activities, but generally my daughter is so exhausted after school that all she wants to do is go home.

    I also went to a high school with an early start time, and I also remember having a nap every afternoon when I got home, and being really tired in school. Such a waste.

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  24. 9:55 pm, curious what school you are in?

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  25. I think it is GREAT that different schools have different start times.

    My kid is up by 6 a.m., no matter what time she goes to bed. So a 7:50 a.m. start time works great for us. We try to get her down by 7:30 p.m to make sure she gets enough rest.

    Our school (and most 7:50 a.m. start-time schools) allow you to drop off as early as 7:30 a.m..

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  26. Given the number of children that come to school without breakfast, you would think that the district would have a look to see if early school start time is related to a the likelihood that kids are not fed breadfast.

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  27. We're Grattan parents, and every morning we moan about the early start time, but actually it works out OK. Our son wakes up at 6:30 anyway and this way my husband can drop him off and still get to work by 8:30.

    It does make for a long day for our son, though. I leave work early and pick him up at 4 so he has some quiet time at home before dinner. That helps us get him to bed by 7:30 p.m. If I didn't have that flexibility -- or if our son wasn't a morning a person -- we'd have serious problems with this start time.

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  28. Breakfast is available at public schools starting at 7:30 a.m., no?

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  29. Seems like many of you have the freedom to set your own hours. Lucky you! Many, many people in the Bay Area work early shifts, or have to start their commutes early, and need to drop their children off long before 8:30am. Good thing there are different start times: everyone should be able to find a schedule that works.

    I've taught in three schools, each with a different start time. Funny thing is, even at the LATE start schools, some families are still chronically tardy!

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  30. my kid is in 1st grade at an 8:40 start school. I am so grateful we didn't get into our 1st choice 7:50 start school because we barely make it on time as it is. I echo what someone else said about just not being a morning person, no matter how hard I try. (and as someone else said, yes; I'm lucky to have flexible work. I make up a lot of work lost to lazy mornings after 8 pm.)

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  31. I asked the principal of Miraloma what spring daylight savings was like with the early start time, and he said "brutal."

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  32. a question for those of you with elementary aged kids: did your child(ren)'s wake time change? my now are up by 6am every day (and usually up by 5am...). any chance this will change in the next year or two?

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  33. 7:29 PM:

    Wake up time at our house is 7:15am, but sleep time is between 8:30pm and 9:30pm. School starts at 8:30am. Even with the 8:30 start, we have a twenty minute drive to school, so it is still pretty hectic.

    We eat dinner between 7:30 and 8:00.

    One of us (parents) works in the South Bay and doesn't get home until 7:30.

    I guess we've been on this schedule for about a year and the it's the closest thing to sanity we've had since the birth of our first child.

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  34. As disruptive as this is, the more worrisome cuts are those that will lead to bigger class size. I'm really getting worried about where SFUSD is going with class size. My kid's school had always tried to keep class size in 4th and 5th grade at 26 or 27 students, but this year it went up to 33 with the first round of cuts. We're hearing class sizes of up to 30 in K through 3 and perhaps 40 for 4th and 5th. Very worrisome!

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  35. Where are you hearing this?

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  36. There are alot of us working families who like a 7:50 start time. We've been doing it for years and it is fine. Even if the school start time began later I'd still have to drop the kids off early, as my job REQUIRES that I be there no later than 8:30 am.

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  37. 2:01 - And would before care be an issue for you?

    Seriously - I am curious - It seems like any family with two parents working will probably need some kind of before care or after care. Does it really matter if they are in care before school instead of after?

    Are you done with work in time to pick-up your child when school ends?

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  38. Unless there is a provider set up to take the kids then no, you can't drop your child off before hand. And yes I do require afterschool, as I work a full 40 hours per week. So either way you cut it, a bunch of us need to get our kids to school early so we can get to work. Unless the SFUSD has providers on hand to take the kids before then great, otherwise it will be a problem. And then there is the added expense I'd have to pay.

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  39. What I am saying is that it was my understanding that even the 7:50 schools had before care starting at 7:30. What is the situation at your school?

    Another question - What time do you drop your child off? I imagine that there is a supervised "drop-off" period from 7:30-7:50 or something like that - otherwise you have parents standing around waiting until exactly 7:50?? How does this work in reality?

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  40. At McKinley, you can drop your child off as part of the drop and go program (parents and student volunteers ushering kids from cars to the assembly area) starting at 7:35.

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  41. I am curious. For those of you who like the later start times, do you work? what hours? I have never had a job that started after 8:30 a.m. and with a 9 hour day, that makes it 5:30 p.m. How do you start work at 9:30 a.m. or even later for those 9:30 a.m. start times, do you work until 7:30 p.m.? Does aftercare go that late?

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  42. Some kids actually ride the bus, which allows parents with early start schedule to get to work on time. At schools that start at 9:30am, there's often a before school program that starts at 8am. Many schools serve breakfast.

    In some families, one parent has a later schedule the other, which allows for more flexibility in the arrival/pick-up times. A good portion of us are self-employed, part-times, or unemployed.

    Some families figure out car pools once school starts. Often families assigned a school get together over the summer and can figure out how to connect via carpool. There's even a website to help with this. At our school, parents work together to get the kids to an afterschool soccer program. One person with a big car/van will pick up a bunch of kids and take them to practice.

    After care generally goes to 6pm, but sometimes people use babysitters or relatives to pick up the kid(s) at that point.

    The point is, there are options for families even with complicated work situations -- particularly if you can get connected within a school community.

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  43. At Grattan we have a sort of quick all-school meeting on the yard in the am with student recognitions for good behavior, we sing happy birthday on fridays and basic announcements are made about things going on that day or week. Many parents stick around. I find it's a great opportunity to have a quick check in about a pick-up or playdate, or pass a note to our teacher or fill out that permission slip we forgot! The early start works for us and I would miss the morning clap-in and corresponding community building if we all just dropped our kids off and scurried off to work.

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  44. My guess is that those who work full-time think the 7:50 a.m. or 8:30 a.m. start times are best. Those that have families with SAHMs or SAHDs don't like the rush in the morning.

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  45. Honestly, if you live fairly close to school (a big if, I know), the 7:50 start time is not so bad. One word of caution though, at Grattan the yard opens at 7:30, so you can drop off then. But it's not exactly closely supervised. Particularly in the early days of K, a child might find it a bit overwhelming to be dropped off 20 minutes early.

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  46. 8:08 - I think you are wrong. I truly believe 7:50 works well for only a small minority of families.

    In our family, both parents work fulltime. One parent starts later and one earlier. A 7:50 start time would make it hard for us all to be together in the evening before all the kids need to be asleep. I really don't think this is a "working parent" vs. SAHP debate. Besides, if early start times were so important for working parents in SF I would have seen it in the preschool world. It was clearly the exception rather than the rule that working parents needed and wanted care at 7:50 am for preschool - 9:00 am was the norm.

    In my opinion, I say do what is best for the kids (i.e., correlation with dawn and natural waking periods) and then accomodate families through before care and after care programs.

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  47. When you say "most people drive to school" it just shows how little you know.

    My daughter who is white rides the bus across town from the Mission to Yick Wo and we love it. The bus is light with white kids, then gets fuller with white and brown kids, then is PACKED with a gorgeous mosaic of white brown and yellow children all laughing and happy by the time the bus arrives.

    PACKED.

    Every bus is packed by the time it arrives to school, so how exactly is it that it's unnecessary? I make mention of the color, only because everybody uses it, even though maybe most whites do drive. Who knows.

    It makes my life possible, and our school has a 930 start time.

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  48. 5:09 p.m.'s question. What time do you start work? and what are your hours? I start work between 8 to 8:30 a.m. and get off work at 6:30 p.m. My partner starts at 9 but is off b 5:30 p.m. so picks up our child. A 9:30 a.m. school time would not work for us unless we were like one of the posters that sent their kid across town on the bus. We would prefer an earlier start time to the bus.

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  49. 8:08 I disagree. With 2 full-time working parents a later start time is impossible. Most business hours are 8am-5pm, including City civil service positions. Even a 7:50am start time is late - 10 minutes to commute to work. I do think this is a working parent issue, no problem for the people with flexible schedules or SAHMs or SAHDs.

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  50. We currently drop our child at pre-school at 7am and there are lots of kids there at that time - it wouldn't be an option otherwise.

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  51. "I’ve heard rumors that the budget cuts will cut the school buses. If this is the case, is it likely that schools may change their start times"

    This whole thread is based on a rumor and one person's speculation based on that rumor? I wouldn't lose sleep over it. If you can't do 7:50, don't apply to a school with that start time. If all schools some day end up with the same start time, you'll find a way to deal with it.

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  52. Ironic, that not one person advocating a late start time (who does not put their child on bus much earlier) indicates they work a normal 8 to 9 hour day. No one said that getting out of the house, or even going to work, was easy but its a fact of life.

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  53. No one here is advocating a 9:30 start time across the board. It is insane if a society can't organize itself around an 8:30 start time for schools. I have never had a job that expected me to be there before 9, and that is true for a lot of jobs. If you start earlier, then there can be childcare before, as many schools already have. 7-6:30 is a really long day for a small kid.

    Our school starts at 7:30, and it is just all too obvious that this is not my kid's natural schedule.

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  54. 10:39 - Hallelujah!!

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  55. I'm another person that has always had a 9:00 to 6:00 job (minimum).

    I don't see the problem with giving families a flex window from 7:30am to 8:30am.

    I find some of the comments from those who are on an early work schedule to be rather self righteous and inconsiderate of those who do not work a job with an early start.

    The district seems to want to bend over backward to get more middle class families into SF schools (with various immersion programs), but never gives a thought to the fact that many families eat dinner late because one family member works late.

    A 7:45am start time would mean that kids would have to be put to bed at 7:00pm, leaving no family time.

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  56. While the early 7:50 schedule works for us (I'm the Grattan parent with the flexible job), I have to admit that it makes for a long day for our child. Sometimes he has to stay in after-care until 5-5:30 if I'm delayed at work, and that's a 9-hour day. Then we've got to hustle him to bed by 7:30.

    So while I'm glad SFUSD has various start times to suit different families, I have to agree that 7:50 might be a shade too early.

    I liked the earlier comment: "It is insane if a society can't organize itself around an 8:30 start time for schools." I agree. It doesn't seem that unreasonable.

    But the reality is that most households do not have an adult at home. Plus, times have changed; parents can't just let the kid walk to the school or to the school bus stop. Parents often now have to supply transportation door-to-door, day in and day out.

    So again, one size does not fit all for start times; we need different start times to accommodate families' wide variety of schedules.

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  57. "It is insane if a society can't organize itself around an 8:30 start time for schools."

    What do you mean by society organizing itself? This is a serious question - not snark.

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  58. "So again, one size does not fit all for start times; we need different start times to accommodate families' wide variety of schedules."

    The staggered start times are to accommodate the buses, not families' wide variety of schedules.

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  59. I am not the poster of the 'society organizing itself' comment, but I think the person meant that we could, as a society, pick a more reasonable start time (i.e. a compromise, as in, not 7:50 and not 9:30.. but rather 8:30), and then work from there to organize our adult days around it.

    That would create the need for early care for kids with parents who have an early work schedule, and an 8:30 drop off for those who don't. At least it wouldn't force everyone to get there by 7:50...

    But this whole topic is moot given that we have three start times. It's really pretty simple: If you don't want the 7:50 start time, don't apply to that school!

    In our case, my husband is looking for a job, so we really don't know what our schedule will be next year. (sigh) Such is life.

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  60. 12:12, the conversation included the thought that we may need less busing if the lottery system skews more towards neighborhood schools next year. And with less busing, perhaps we wouldn't need the staggering of start times. And then the late risers among us starting hoping for more 8:40 start times. You get the idea...

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  61. "Society organizes" person here, and 12:12 basically said what I think. Most places in this country don't have three start times for schools, and they make it work. Flexibility for drop-off before, and good aftercare after, should be possible in one of the richest countries on earth.

    Now, if someone could work on employers' attitudes around the fact that for a few years of most people's lives they have young kids (and for us as a society that is actually a necessary and good thing), it would be even better, but oddly utopian in this country (as opposed to many European countries, but I digress).

    The general conditions in this society for working families, and especially working women is outside of the current debate here, but it can drive me to a frothy level of craziness if I think about it too much. "Family values", my ass.

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  62. Thanks, 12:12 and 12:38. It does seem like a crazy patchwork of start times and care options that parents have to figure out. Also, just applying to schools with the "right" start time for you doesn't ensure you will get those schools. If all schools started at the same time, and offered before AND after care, then we'd all be covered.

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  63. Just an interesting observation: Of the "notorious 11" Alvarado, Grattan, Miraloma, CL, Rooftop and Sherman (6 schools) all have 7:50 start times.Alamo, AFY and WP start at 8:40 , Lawton at 9:00 and Clarendon at 9:25.

    Could just be random, but worth considering (1) whether the early start time works better for the middle class families drawn to these schools in droves and (2) whether the early start time is a serious obstacle for SED families?

    I love my early start time! It works for me and my kids really well. But I recognize we have an odd schedule that allows all of us to be home by mid-afternoon. I'm not inclined to give that up merely to accomodate someone else's preference to sleep in. That said, we can surely adjust if that 45 mins is interfering with equal access to all schools for our more disadvantaged students.

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  64. It makes sense to me that if you didn't have a car and had to take your children to school by bus (muni) that yes - an early start time would make this morning commute even earlier and more difficult.

    There is a school bus from Bayview/Hunter's Point to Rooftop Alternative. This bus leaves from the BV/HP boys & girls club at 6:50am. 6:50 am. Yes - I think the 7:50 start times do impact "choice"

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  65. Most private schools start at 8:00 a.m. or 8:30 a.m., even those who bus. For purposes of homework time and after school activities, an end time of 3:30 p.m. with a 9:30 a.m. start is just too late.

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  66. 7:50 schools do allow you to drop-off, but that doesn't mean the kids are constantly supervised. They are on the yard running around.It isn't some organized before-care program.

    At McCoppin the start time is 8:40 am, but for kindergarters, start-time is 8:50 am. That doesn't work for me, becuase I have a 9 to 5 job, as does my husband. This later start time would force me to have to work even later, which would end up effecting the evening. It is a rush no matter what time your kid's school starts, if you have a full-time job.

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  67. Nobody here is suggesting a 9:00 or 9:30 start.

    I'm not aware of any private schools that start at 8:00 or earlier.

    Many private schools do have drop off windows that start at 7:30 or 8:00.

    The earliest private school class start time that I know of is 8:15am.

    Perhaps there is someone out there that knows of a private school that starts class at 8:00 or earlier. I'm not aware of that.

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  68. CAIS starts at 8:00 (sadly). I think it's 8:30 for kindergarten... but really, the middle school kids could benefit more from the later start time than the little ones.

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  69. I think St. Brigid starts at 8 a.m. I'm pretty sure Star of the Sea also starts at 8 a.m.

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  70. Grattan parent with the flexible hours here.

    I think parents' frustration with various start times isn't really about the school district. It's about the fact that a child's school day is non-negotiable, and parents' work schedules are often non-negotiable, and if the two are in conflict, families must scrape together whatever money, resources or luck they can to pick up the slack.

    As some previous posters pointed out, you can plan all you want regarding start times, but there's no guarantee that you'll get the schools you want, or your job might change, or you might forego your dream school start time for another's amazing arts program, etc.

    Or the school buses are cut, throwing everything off again for your family.

    Crazy world.

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  71. Even if the busses are cut, I hope they still keep some bussing to move kids from the schools to the different after school programs - like the CDC (Las Americas), YMCA and Boys and Girls Clubs.

    Does anyone have experience using the busses to go to these locations?

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  72. I just hope SFUSD does not get any ideas like Seattle and standardize all elementary schools to start at 9:30 a.m.

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  73. And never mind the fact that if you don't get a school in Round 1, many of the better after school programs are full by the time you do get the school, or so I've heard.

    I think most of us who are complaining about start times don't yet have a kid in the school system and are just wishing things were more predictable. It sounds like many parents who already have kids in school are fine with whatever they have, or have adjusted as best they can, and aren't griping too much.

    I, for one, can't wait to be through with this whole infuriating process. It's tough not knowing where your kid will go to school, when his day will start and finish, whether appropriate aftercare will be available, if we'll be able to arrange car pools, if my kid will even be ready for kindergarten, if my husband will have a job next year and if he doesn't, if I'll make enough money to keep us in the black, and so on!! Aaaggh!

    (pause) I feel better now. Thanks for riding along on my anxiety attack. By the way, if you haven't read this article about overparenting, it's interesting: http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1940395,00.html

    It's enough to make you want to sleep in.

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  74. So my question is: "who/what determines the start time for each school?".

    For us, our favorite pick was actually McCoppin. The children were all orderly and focused on their teachers, computer lab, the principal is on Red Bull, the grounds are improving - greening/remodel forthcoming and the library is fantastic. However, start time is 8:40/8:50am.

    All those pros outweighed by one friggin con!

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  75. McCoppin: 8:40 is right in the middle. Were you hoping for an earlier or later start time?

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  76. I'm the person who originally asked for the post about the possibility that the district might scrap buses next year. I totally understand why the buses would be invaluable to many families who send their kids across town and I certainly wasn't promoting such a cut. I was trying to determine if anyone had also heard about this potential cut and if so, whether they felt that schools might decide to change their start times. I figured that 7:50 might be too early for many, but it sounds like there are just as many pros for this start time as cons. I know that our girl is not a morning person and yet we put 7:50 start time schools as our number one and number two choices because we really liked the schools and they were relatively close by. Chances are from what I've been reading that we won't get either of them (Miraloma 1 and McKinley 2) but I worry that if we are lucky enough to get one of them, we'll really need to buckle down and change our schedule. As I write this at a little after 10 pm, my four year old is still chatting to herself in bed(she never seems to go to sleep before 9:00 at the VERY earliest). We were so torn about not including some of our favorite schools on our list just because of start time, so we did include two of them. But the rest on our list start at 8:40 or 9:30. We'll see how it all pans out.

    When I posted the question I had this dream that should we get one of our top choices maybe the school community would determine that without busing the day could start a little later, but it sounds like that is unlikely.

    Thanks for everyone's thoughts so far. Btw, I don't see this as a stay at home vs working debate. My husband and I both work full time and to be honest I'd love a 9:30 start time. My company has flex hours so I mostly work from 10 am to 6pm. If I do drop off for preschool at 9ish I get some time in the morning with my daughter and then my husband can pick her up.

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  77. I am a Grattan Parent, with my second kid at the school so I have been doing the 7:50 drop-off for ages now. What I love about the 7:50 start is that at our school the kids and parents are on the yard, we get to hear the Principal talk, we get to mingle for a moment or two with other parents, see the teachers, and feel connected to the school that has become so important to me that I don't mind the start time. A bunch of us end up riding on the N traing together too, or taking the bus to get to work, so more time to chat. How delightful. My youngest used to go to bed at 9 pm, at the same time as his older brother, becuase I didn't want to deal with the fall-out of "different treatment". However I did have to deal with it when kindergarten started, and to be honest it isn't a big deal. He is now in bed by 8:15. Although I work all day, I am able to have quality time with both my kids in the evenings - there lots of preplanning going on though to make this happen, but to me going to our neighborhood school with a start time of 7:50 am is totally worth it.

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  78. 10.:04 -I think this early morning bonding is one reason Grattan has been so successful - it has a large active involvement by the parents who do indeed see themselves as part of the school community.
    My kid likes to stay up late, but she got use to the earlier to bed, early up schedule and has been functioning well over the years at Grattan.

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  79. If you can't stand the thought of an early start school, apply to later start schools, that simple. The early start schools are terribly over-subscribed anyway. Would switching them to later starts reduce demand or increase? Who knows. Doesn't matter. Parents who prefer later start times have other options. That's what's so great about having alternatives. Find one that works for your family instead of trying to limit others' choices.

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  80. 12:42 Right on!!! I am an early riser, and don't begrudge those who are late-risers. So please, don't mess with me!

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  81. With the huge impending budget cuts on the way, it seems that school start times will be simply a triviality compared to the class size increases and program cuts that are on the way.

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