Blog

SPS proposes 9:40 start time for Stevens

In 2014, based upon research that shows teenagers may benefit from later school start times, SPS began work to analyze the costs and benefits of starting middle and high schools later in the morning. Presumably elementary schools would start earlier or stay the same.

That doesn’t appear to be how it would turn out for Stevens and 19 other elementary schools. This proposal does NOT take into account further impacts from adding 20 minutes of instructional time starting in 2017/2018.

SPS is taking public comments NOW, with final approval expected in Oct/Nov.

IMPACTS:

  • Stevens parents and guardians generally work full time–many would NOT be able to get to work on time or work a full day with a 9:40 AM start.
  • Stevens only has two buses–serving a small fraction of our students–so parents will bear the burden and financial cost.
  • Steven’s after-school enrichment program–which offers a wide range of activities such as chess, computer programming, robotics, jump-rope, visual arts, gardening, and exercise–would likely cease; 4pm is too late to start for younger kids, and before-school.
  • Kids will be going home in the dark for many months–a safety concern for many families.
  • Our school time will be adjusted once again in 2017. It doesn’t make sense to put our families through this two years in a row.

The PTA will be circulating a petition opposing this change. Watch for that, or contact the Superintendent and School Board directly.

Volunteer Opportunities

The school year is off and running. As we gear up for a year of learning and fun, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to help out at Stevens. Most jobs take very little time but make a big difference to the staff and students. Do you have a special skill to share with the Stevens community? Do you speak Spanish, Somali or Tigrigna? Maybe you have graphic design or website design skills? Are you particularly good at procurement (auction!) or fundraising generally? Do you love to plan parties? Let us know! We’d love to get to know you better and of course find a way to put your talents to use!

Check out our Volunteer Page, or contact PTA Program Chair Jill Kobayashi.

The PTA is also seeking nominations for three open board positions:

Fundraising Co-Chair
Programs Co-Chair
Outreach Co-Chair

Each position is for two years. You get mentored the first year, providing the time and opportunity to learn. If you are interested, or know someone who might be, have them contact PTA Co-President Siri Miller.

 

PTA Meeting – Tuesday, Sept 29

The first PTA meeting of the year is a great opportunity to learn what’s on tap for the school year ahead, and the many ways the PTA is working to enhance our Stevens community.

Principal Kelley Archer and new Assistant Principal Colleen Stump will share information about a new program called RULER.

And we’ll provide an overview of PTA activities and committees:

How the PTA Supports All Our Kids– Caren Ezratty
How can you be an advocate?- Kat Barr
Community Building – Molly Wyman
Communication – Alice Adams and Linda Mullen
Outreach – Jill Kobayashi
How do we do it all? Your generous gifts of time and…
Fundraising – Suzanne Lear & Diane Stoebe
Membership – Nancy Allan

Join us! Tuesday, September 29 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the library. Child care will be available.

Donors Choose Projects

Our Stevens teachers are always going the extra mile for our kids. One way we can help them out is by supporting their Donors Choose projects. If you don’t know, Donors Choose is a crowd funding site specifically to help educators fund classroom projects so they don’t have to use their own money.

As we learn of projects our teachers are posting to Donors Choose, we’ll post them here. Be sure to visit throughout the year to learn about more opportunities.

Ms. Wilson, Kindergarten, is seeking to add Mathematics supplies to enhance her kids problem-solving skills. Check it out here.

Thank you, Stevens Community!

The strike by the Seattle Education Association has been suspended and school will begin on Thursday. The SEA representative assembly has recommended that the members approve the tentative agreement at its General Membership meeting on Sunday.

We have heard from many of our Stevens educators how appreciative they are of the community and parent support during the strike. Thanks to all of you who provided food or encouragement to our educators during this stressful time.

See you on Thursday.