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School Start Time Changes for 2022-23

(The message below was emailed to all parents/guardians and staff in the District on June 30.)

It is our goal to shape the Mead School District into one of the top performing and functioning districts in the state of Washington, and one of the ways we are hoping to do that is through improving how we teach and how our students learn. To do this, our district, with Board approval, will make changes to the start of our school day for the upcoming year. And the result? Better, coordinated instructional practices that result in more achievement, and more importantly, more growth by our students.

Please check out the important information in the sections below to understand the changes, the process, the goals and the accountability! 

So, what’s changing?
At the June 13th Regular Meeting of the Mead School District School Board of Directors, the Board approved the following changes to the school start times for 2022-23. It is important to note that the school day, as compared to the past year, will start 10 minutes earlier on Mon., Tues., Thurs., and Fri., and start 40 mins later on Wednesdays. Here’s the schedule: 

  • Preschool (ECEAP and Developmental Preschool at Creekside)
  • Elementary (Grades K-5)
    • Mon., Tues., Thurs., Fri.: 9:00 a.m.-3:20 p.m.
    • Wednesday: 9:40 a.m.-3:20 p.m.
  • Middle School (Grades 6-8)
    • Mon., Tues., Thurs., Fri.: 7:55 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
    • Wednesday: 8:35 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
  • High School (Grades 9-12)
    • Mon., Tues., Thurs., Fri.: 8:00 a.m.-2:35 p.m.
    • Wednesday: 8:40 a.m.-2:35 p.m.
  • Important note: Schools will open their doors at the normal time on Wednesdays with supervision available for students who need additional support. Bus routes will still run on the 40-minute late start schedule, but parents will have the option to drop off students at the regular time.

Mead Learning Options programs, including North Star School, Five Mile Prairie School, Mead Virtual Program, Mead Outdoor School and Aspire Learning Center, schedules will be communicated to families and students prior to the start of the school year.   

Why is the District making these changes?
The Mead School District believes that one of the best ways to improve instructional practice that results in both student achievement and growth is by focusing on student learning in staff teams called Professional Learning Communities (PLCs). National data and research strongly supports this strategy. This means teachers will meet in weekly collaboration with their grade/department-level peers on Wednesdays during the before-school time. Their work during this time is strictly dedicated to examining student work, developing common assessments and collaborating on instructional strategies. 

What’s to gain?
Students and teachers will see a number of improvements through the PLC model, with the central focus of improving student learning. Using student data reviewed in their PLC groups, teachers will design additional time and support for students who need it, as well as enrichment for students who already meet standards. As a result of the new schedule, students will spend over 400 more minutes in class throughout the year, and teachers will have over 1200 more minutes dedicated to this intentional collaboration.

How will we know the changes are having a positive impact?
Accountability is central to the success of the PLCs through the reporting of progress on a regular basis at least three times during each school year. Building Administrators will also be working with their staff to ensure that the PLC time used on Wednesdays remains focused on student achievement and growth.

Want to review Board discussion on this Topic?
To read through the District presentations and Board discussion, please access Board minutes from the May 23 (presentation and discussion) and June 13 (discussion and approval) regular meetings.

Each school principal will be sharing additional information with their school communities prior to the start of school. Please look for that message in early to mid-August!