Dear Hamilton Families and Scholars,
For some time, I have heard concerns from teachers, students, families, and community members about our current, early start time and the impact on our middle-school-age students. Accordingly, I have been reviewing research about youth and adolescent brain functioning. The American Academy of Pediatrics supports a later start time for students at this age to combat sleep deprivation. In addition, our teachers have asked for more time in their day for cross-grade-level planning and collaboration.
Given these considerations, I have collaborated with our Collaborative School Committee, our teacher leadership committee (The School Leadership Team), and our students. All groups have supported exploring options for potential changes to the 2019-20 school year schedule. Please see the options outlined below:
OPTION 1: Students would start at 9am and end school at 3:45pm.
- Students could enter school at 8:45am each morning and have breakfast
- We are looking at before-school activities, if we can provide space and supervision, for families who need to drop off at 7:45am. This is not guaranteed at this time but under consideration.
- Teachers would all report early each day, at approximately 8am, for school-wide collaboration and planning to improve in our work with our students each day.
OPTION 2: Students would start school at 7:45am and end school at 2:30pm.
- Students could enter each day at 7:30am for breakfast and to go to their lockers
- Teachers would collaborate after dismissal, starting at 2:45pm.
OPTION 3: Keep the current start and end time, 7:25am-2:55pm.
- This would mean no change for next school year
I invite you to add your voice to inform our final decision. You have two opportunities to do so:
- Please complete our community input survey by clicking HERE.
- Please join us for an open community meeting to discuss this topic on February 5 from 5:00pm – 6:00pm at Hamilton Middle School. At this open community meeting, we will give more information into the pros and cons of each option that we see and then invite you share your perspectives so we can hear more input.
After working with our stakeholder groups, our teacher leadership team, the SLT, will look across all that was learned and make the final recommendation, which will then be submitted to the DPS Department of Transportation.
Please note, that although we may have a final recommendation, there are many factors beyond our control to determine the final schedule. Once DPS Transportation reviews our recommendation within the context of other school requests, we will be notified of our final start and end time. We anticipate being able to communicate the final decision to our community by Spring Break.
Thank you for sharing your voice in this decision making process.