School Start Times
For the 2017-18 school year, Jenks Public Schools will transition from a two-tier bus system to a three-tier bus system, and move from two school start times to three school start times. At this time, NO DECISIONS HAVE BEEN MADE REGARDING SPECIFIC START TIMES FOR ANY GRADE LEVEL OR ANY SCHOOL SITE.
The decision to add a third bus route is based on student safety and fiscal responsibility. Buses are overcrowded, and in order to address these safety concerns, and to move forward with the current two-tier system, Jenks Public Schools would need to purchase an additional 12 buses at a cost of approximately $1.3 million. The District would also need to hire more bus drivers, incurring further expenses for salaries and training. A transition to a three-tier start time system would dramatically reduce the number of buses and drivers required to safely transport students to and from their school sites. The switch to a three-tier system will eliminate overcrowding on buses and will result in significant, long-term savings for the District.
A committee of approximately 100 people was formed to discuss school start time research and the implications resulting from the change. The people serving on the committee represent a wide-variety of interests from parents of children at multiple levels to those representing the arts, Community Education, and athletics. This research presented to the committee is available by clicking the links at the bottom of this page.
COMMITTEE MEETING #1 – FEBRUARY 23, 2017
The committee looked at how school start times compare around the state of Oklahoma, and learned specifics on how a change in start times was implemented at Stillwater Public Schools. Research on the importance of adequate sleep for teenagers was presented by Dr. Lisa Cromer, Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Tulsa. The committee was then divided into smaller groups to read and discuss a variety of research articles on the subject of student sleep patterns and how changes in start times have impacted other school districts around the country.
COMMITTEE MEETING #2 – MARCH 8, 2017
The committee was presented with five viable options for school start times. Each small group of committee members was assigned one of the five options and tasked with conducting an analysis of that option. Keeping in mind the research presented at the previous meeting, the members identified the driving forces (positive aspects) and restraining forces (possible drawbacks) associated with their option. After listening to the findings of each group, committee members were asked to complete a rubric which ranked each option by how closely it aligned with the research. Finally, before exiting the meeting, each committee member was asked to select a favorite option and a least favorite option.
The same research and topics discussed by committee members will be presented to the Jenks Public Schools Board of Education on Monday, April 3 at the regularly scheduled monthly Board meeting. After Board of Education members have reviewed the findings of the committee, a final decision on Jenks’ school start times is expected to be made in May.
LINKS TO RESEARCH AND ARTICLES
- School Start Times Committee Introduction
- Why A Three Tier Transportation Approach?
- Lessons Learned: Stillwater Public Schools
- Start Times for Other Districts in Oklahoma
- Research on Sleep and Health by Dr. Lisa Cromer, Ph.D.
- Later Start Time for Teens Improves Grades, Mood, and Safety
- Push Back High School Start Times
- Clearing The Snooze Hurdles
- Let Them Sleep: AAP Recommends Delaying Start Times of Middle and High Schools to Combat Teen Sleep Deprivation
- Early School Start Times Hurt Students, Hinder Performance
- To Keep Teenagers Alert, Schools Let Them Sleep In
- Why We Must – and Can – Restore Safe and Healthy School Hours
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