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News Item: Homepage

Superintendent Letter on School Start Time

Dear FUHSD parents and community,

 

Over the last year and a half, the Fremont Union High School District (FUHSD) has been working diligently to address the issue of student sleep and general wellness through the work of the Community Taskforce on Student Wellness, established in December 2015.

 

Central to the taskforce’s work during 2nd semester of this past school year has been the desire to address the lack of student sleep, its negative consequences on student wellbeing, and the possibility of a move to a later school start time to address these issues. After much collaboration between the taskforce, District administrators, teachers and classified staff, the Collective Bargaining Agreement with certificated staff includes a provision to align school schedules so that the instructional day will not begin earlier than 8 a.m. beginning in the 2018-2019 school year.

 

The decision was made to delay the implementation of a later start time to a year from now for several reasons, including the need for ample time to effectively communicate the change to all of the District’s families and provide them time to make necessary adjustments, to allow teachers and staff to plan for changes both professional and personal and ensure the thoughtful planning and arrangement of campus master schedules moving forward.

 

In reaching this decision, District staff and the members of the Wellness Taskforce studied the American Academy of Pediatrics Policy Statement on School Start Times for Adolescents, data from the District’s own surveys of parents and students about student wellbeing, and information gathered from the experiences of surrounding districts.

 

Another consideration for FUHSD in this process has been CA Senate Bill 328, which proposes that middle and high schools in California start the school day no earlier than 8:30 a.m., and if passed, would go into effect in July 2020. The introduction of this bill occurred after the Taskforce on Student Wellness and the District had done much of its work on realigning our school schedules. At this time, SB 328 has been passed by the State Senate and now moves to the State Assembly for consideration. We will continue to monitor the progress of this bill and hope to know by the Fall whether or not it will pass and become state law. If enacted, the provisions in SB 328 will help guide our planning for schedules in the fall of 2018. 

 

We understand that any change or shift in school schedules will require a period of adjustment for our students, families and staff. We hope that providing this notice a year ahead of the change will help to mitigate some of the difficulties inherent in any schedule change. This is just the first of several communications from FUHSD on the schedule change and the broader work of addressing the wellness issues our students face. More detailed information will be shared by both the District and your school site as the year progresses. Should you have any questions, please contact Assistant Superintendent Trudy Gross at trudy_gross@fuhsd.org.

 

Sincerely,

 

Polly Bove

Superintendent

Posted by: Rachel Zlotziver Published:6/23/17
Audience: Homepage