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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: jackie-o ()
Date: February 12, 2009 06:47AM


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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: JustARegularMom ()
Date: February 12, 2009 08:09AM

guster Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Phyllis Payne and Sandy Evans are the 'parent
> activists' behind the SLEEP initiative. They are
> McLean parents. McLean PTSA is overjoyed (on its
> website) about this 'wonderful' proposed schedule
> change because of course it suits THEIR agenda.
> Why shouldn't the rest of the county--parents,
> students, and all citizens affected--change their
> lives for the comfort of the elite in McLean?

Oh my god, you are so right. I went on the McLean HS PTSA website. Not only are they gushing about the new start times, they are also thrilled about the new grading schedule. their entire website is filled with Thank Yous to the School Board. Who's in their pocket??

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: Robin Hood ()
Date: February 12, 2009 08:48AM

JustARegularMom Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> guster Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Phyllis Payne and Sandy Evans are the 'parent
> > activists' behind the SLEEP initiative. They
> are
> > McLean parents. McLean PTSA is overjoyed (on
> its
> > website) about this 'wonderful' proposed
> schedule
> > change because of course it suits THEIR agenda.
>
> > Why shouldn't the rest of the county--parents,
> > students, and all citizens affected--change
> their
> > lives for the comfort of the elite in McLean?
>
> Oh my god, you are so right. I went on the McLean
> HS PTSA website. Not only are they gushing about
> the new start times, they are also thrilled about
> the new grading schedule. their entire website is
> filled with Thank Yous to the School Board. Who's
> in their pocket??

What about Langley? Are they gushing as well from their website? I do not have access to a computer as I am using my mobile phone. In addition to Langley to being a royal pain in the butt, Madison might just as well be one, too! Isn't Madison in Jane Strauss' Dranesville district?

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: guster ()
Date: February 12, 2009 08:54AM



Janie Strauss is the McLean/Langley school board representative. Jack Dale (superintendent) lives in the Langley pyramid, I believe.

I won't have a student in elementary school this fall, but it seems the elementary school teachers, parents, and students are going to have the hardest time with the switch. Most elementary schools will start at 7:50am. That's really tough, especially for someone with a child in the foreign language immersion program at a school in another part of the county.

Go to the FCPS website and check out the proposed schedule changes for the schools. Langley and McLean H.S. will start at 8:55am and 8:45am, respectively. These parents hand-picked the start times they want for their students. Lake Braddock also has 8:45am listed. The rest of the high schools have a proposed time of 8:30am.

Also look at the Langley H.S. attendance boundary. It is the reason these students have so far to travel to get to school. They pass at least two FFX Co. high schools on their way to Langley.

I'll have a student starting middle school. We are not thrilled about the 9:40am-4:30pm day, but we can make it work.

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: guster ()
Date: February 12, 2009 09:12AM

McLean parents must be stopped. Seriously.

It's disturbing how much upheaval their proposal would cause throughout the county--not only parents and students, but all the teachers, staff support, daycare, after-school martial arts programs that pick up students, etc.

It's all for the comfort of their students and their lives. The proposed changes clearly indicate change that is desirable for their schools and lifestyles.

A person can drum up research data to support just about any claim imaginable. These parents say studies show the current start times are so damaging for their students. But most of the population has been doing fine with the current schedule. These narcissistic parents simply want things their way.

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: Robin Hood ()
Date: February 12, 2009 10:32AM

guster Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> >
> Janie Strauss is the McLean/Langley school board
> representative. Jack Dale (superintendent) lives
> in the Langley pyramid, I believe.
>
> I won't have a student in elementary school this
> fall, but it seems the elementary school teachers,
> parents, and students are going to have the
> hardest time with the switch. Most elementary
> schools will start at 7:50am. That's really
> tough, especially for someone with a child in the
> foreign language immersion program at a school in
> another part of the county.
>
> Go to the FCPS website and check out the proposed
> schedule changes for the schools. Langley and
> McLean H.S. will start at 8:55am and 8:45am,
> respectively. These parents hand-picked the start
> times they want for their students. Lake Braddock
> also has 8:45am listed. The rest of the high
> schools have a proposed time of 8:30am.
>
> Also look at the Langley H.S. attendance boundary.
> It is the reason these students have so far to
> travel to get to school. They pass at least two
> FFX Co. high schools on their way to Langley.
>
> I'll have a student starting middle school. We
> are not thrilled about the 9:40am-4:30pm day, but
> we can make it work.


Sorry for the confusion earlier when I posted about Madison, I meant McLean. I agree that those who handpick their times for their own personal agendas, this is not fair to other communities. Langley got away with what they wanted from last year's boundary redistricting. They will continue to do so with the bell times and the grading scale. I say that not just McLean, but Langley need to stop and step in to work together as a whole community with the other schools, not just "me, me, me, I want, I want, I want". Enough is enough with the Langley clan and now the McLean clan. I just visited the fcps website and reviewed the proposed times for all the schools. I wonder why Lake Braddock SS is pushing for a later bell time? If those parents of high school students are so hyped with changing the bell times and the middle schoos being in a stickler having to start school almost 2 hours later, why not swap elementary and high school bell times and leave the middle school bell time alone?

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: Steve K ()
Date: February 12, 2009 11:57AM

Well all you supporters may have got what you wanted. Have fun living with this mess.

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: guster ()
Date: February 12, 2009 12:11PM

I'm not supporting this proposal. Not many posters on here have expressed any desire to see this pass. It benefits McLean/Langley teens. That's it.

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: Wordout ()
Date: February 12, 2009 01:01PM

guster Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> McLean parents must be stopped. Seriously.
>
> It's disturbing how much upheaval their proposal
> would cause throughout the county--not only
> parents and students, but all the teachers, staff
> support, daycare, after-school martial arts
> programs that pick up students, etc.
>
> It's all for the comfort of their students and
> their lives. The proposed changes clearly
> indicate change that is desirable for their
> schools and lifestyles.
>
> A person can drum up research data to support just
> about any claim imaginable. These parents say
> studies show the current start times are so
> damaging for their students. But most of the
> population has been doing fine with the current
> schedule. These narcissistic parents simply want
> things their way.



Guster, the best way to fight this is to get out and let the elementary and middle school parents throughout the county know what is going on. Very few do at this point. Some parents think this proposed change only affects the high school students. Start making noise outside of FFXU!

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: Robin Hood ()
Date: February 12, 2009 01:54PM

Wordout Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> guster Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > McLean parents must be stopped. Seriously.
> >
> > It's disturbing how much upheaval their
> proposal
> > would cause throughout the county--not only
> > parents and students, but all the teachers,
> staff
> > support, daycare, after-school martial arts
> > programs that pick up students, etc.
> >
> > It's all for the comfort of their students and
> > their lives. The proposed changes clearly
> > indicate change that is desirable for their
> > schools and lifestyles.
> >
> > A person can drum up research data to support
> just
> > about any claim imaginable. These parents say
> > studies show the current start times are so
> > damaging for their students. But most of the
> > population has been doing fine with the current
> > schedule. These narcissistic parents simply
> want
> > things their way.
>
>
>
> Guster, the best way to fight this is to get out
> and let the elementary and middle school parents
> throughout the county know what is going on. Very
> few do at this point. Some parents think this
> proposed change only affects the high school
> students. Start making noise outside of FFXU!


It is highly likely many parents throughout the county have viewed the proposed times from the fcps website. Hopefully a majority of the parents have noticed the later bell times for Langley/McLean and Lake Braddock. Noise is sure to happen during the upcoming community meetings and somebody asking why Langley? Why McLean, etc. It is stupid, this whole thing just an hour hour later change for most high schools here. Those exempted, an hour 15 and 20 mins later.

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: guster ()
Date: February 12, 2009 02:02PM

Here's a link for people opposed to the SLEEP proposal benefiting the inhabitants of McLeanWorld:

http://wakefairfax.googlepages.com/home

I do have a teen in a FCPS high school, by the way. We are fine with the current schedule.

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: Danbury Forester ()
Date: February 13, 2009 05:09PM

I certainly believe the research (not just one or a few "experts," this is well established in the academic/Ed school peer-reviewed literature) that shows our high school kids will learn more, perform better, and be less prone to depression if they start school later—I'd sure never accept a job that starts as early as high school does around here, and wouldn't expect to do well at it if I did. Would you? I recognize, too, that the issue isn't just hours of sleep, it's circadian rhythms, which make four or five hours of sleep serve you much better if you're starting at 9 a.m. than if you're starting at 7.

I'm deeply troubled, however, by the consequences for other kids and their families. The proposed bell changes have my third grader, in GT at Keene Mill, starting school at 7:50, 70 minutes earlier than the current time, which means catching the bus at or before 7 for his long ride to school. (The GT centers pull from a wide region, so many of the kids have long commutes to school.) On the flip side, my first grade stepson's school, Kings Park, would move to a 9:20 start. I work in D.C., his mom in College Park, and neither of us has the flexibility to wait until after 9 to head to work on a consistent basis. I imagine the same is true of 100,000 or more families in Fairfax County. We're already paying all we can afford for after-school SACC for the two boys. Throwing before-school care fees at me and all the other parents in the same boat, as if that were consistent with a basic mandate to provide free unrestricted public school access to all children, is absurd. I hope the proposed new schedules, as drafted, will be dismissed out of hand as putting an unreasonable burden on too many children and families.

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: Thomas More ()
Date: February 13, 2009 05:28PM

Danbury Forester Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> > On the flip side, my first grade stepson's school, Kings Park, would move to a 9:20 start. I work in D.C., his mom in College Park, and neither of us has the flexibility to wait until after 9 to head to work on a consistent basis. I imagine the same is true of 100,000 or more families in Fairfax County.< <

Many FFX elementary schools are already on bell schedules that have school starting at or after 9 am. Generally they allow drop off at 8:45. May not help your situation but you need to know thousands of FFX families have been struggling with this problem for decades.

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: Kid-Friendly ()
Date: February 13, 2009 06:23PM

This whole thing is mind-boggling - this will create more traffic and will not help students in the long run - now just about everyone will be on the roads at the same time -

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: Jackie-O! ()
Date: February 13, 2009 09:10PM

Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back new
Posted by: Danbury Forester ()
Date: February 13, 2009 05:09PM

I'd sure never accept a job that starts as early as high school does around here, and wouldn't expect to do well at it if I did. Would you?
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
More people that you think get up and get to work. I have been at work by 6AM for the last 25 years and on average working 56 hour work weeks.
It's thinking like that that has our society going down the toilet.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/13/2009 09:12PM by Jackie-O!.

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: TruthBeKnown ()
Date: February 14, 2009 12:08AM

About 9/10ths of the posts on this thread are obviously in love with speculation and have never bothered to read an iota of the Transportation Task Force study or really looked at the research on adolescent sleep and on school districts that have later start times. They are unmoved by the fact that community after community in this country has already made or is about to make the change because of the undeniable benefits. We can no longer claim to be a top school district -- a model -- if we continue to deny our students the health they deserve.

There is so much fear and trepidation going around, it's a wonder any of these adults are credible in their professions. Is this how they tackle challenges at work? By throwing up every conceivable reason a goal cannot be reached, whether it's well-founded or not?

Imagine that you have a child who is wheelchair-bound. You live in a county that has ADA access to everything -- from ramps to accessible light switches. This child spends her day doing much of what other kids do. She learns, plays, goes to activities, does homework, enjoys life. Now you move to a county that doesn't have any of this access. Instead, you are given a brochure that has suggestions for ways you can work around the inaccessibility. Exercises you and your child can do to so you have the strength to lift wheelchairs over curbs. Gadgets you can buy to reach light switches. Ways to send pee into pots from outside the stall. By the end of the day, this child is so exhausted from just trying to be mobile that she doesn't have energy for homework or play. But the people who live in the county are used to it, and really don't see a problem. Besides, it would be far too costly to create access, and extremely disruptive to the mobility of able-bodied people as construction was underway.

But if you had a kid in a wheelchair, it would be a no-brainer, wouldn't it? You'd argue that lack of access denies society an entire swath of talent and energy and creativity. You'd argue that the population should put up with short-term adjustments for long-term benefits. You'd demand that officials really do their jobs and figure out the least costly way to get this task done, based on real data. That just because people were used to it doesn't make it less real of a problem.

This is what is happening here. We are so quick to claim that our kids don't suffer because of lack of sleep -- or that it isn't really serious -- because we've accommodated their "handicap" into our daily lives. Caffeine in high school is a pervasive drug. Homework that should last two hours lasts three (and NOT because of Facebook). Injuries on the field, car accidents (mostly minor and therefore not evident to all, but sometimes devastating), depression, stress, dropouts (an ugly number in this "fancy" county), remediation needs, you name it. Kids smoke and drink to relieve stress and claim some time of their own (self-medicating). We chalk it up to adolescence. These kids are being abused, plain and simple.

But here we have adults say "have them meditate so they can go to sleep earlier," and "lower the lights in the house," and other nonsense to try to overcome a biological chemical that governs them like insulin does. They have no control over this. And more than that, what parent should HAVE to devote so much effort to "fixing" something that isn't broken? The kid isn't broken. The system is.

And -- Why are so many PARENTS so quick to blame PARENTING all the time? We don't help them with homework enough, or we help them too much. We don't feed them right. We don't encourage them enough or we push them too hard. We don't discipline them enough or we're too lax. We don't get them to sleep -- by what, standing over them with a hairbrush until they do? Running a bubble bath for them every night? It is never enough, is it?

And -- People say, "We're the top-rated school district in the country! We must be doing something right!" Are we? And at what cost? And can we, in fact, do better, and do it by a less crazymaking method? Anyone looked at the bottom "tier" of students? At the depression and drug use rates? (The real data -- not word-of-mouth.) The relationship issues between parents and kids? Most people would a) be appalled or b) not believe the data (of course).

And -- Why are we asking the School Board to manage our lives for us outside of school? They are responsible for academics. That is their mission, goal, and charter. It is NOT their mission to make sure every last family in this county has a comfy schedule, or an easy commute, or that Betsy gets to violin lessons. For every teacher that would have a "bad" commute or may not be able to work the same hours at a second job, there is another teacher whose commute would improve and could finally get hours for a second job. For every adult that may have to change coaching schedules, there's one that would finally be able to take coaching on. This list is endless.

Anybody remember when you had to adjust your work schedule to send your kid to school to begin with?

Adults can CHOOSE jobs that require them to get up at 4:30 am. They can choose whether to put up with three hours of work at home each night. Kids cannot. High school kids are LEGALLY required to show up for "work" at 7:20 am and be totally on the ball all day long. The consequences of not doing so follow them all their lives, administrators-teachers-parents scream at them.

I am frankly appalled at the self-oriented nature of some of the opposition to bell schedule changes. Besides the pure scientific illiteracy that's going on, why are teachers and parents so consumed by what will ultimately be an ordinary adjustment in their lives -- adjustments that they would willingly make for other gains like a new job or new activity in their childs' life -- that they would deny the real and essential benefits to more than 80K "neighborhood" kids?

It's sorrowful. Adults are putting themselves first, acting like agitated children who are asked to change their play date. Or they're acting on emotional appeals to raw fears that their kids will be irreparably harmed, such as by having an activity "killed," when no such harm will, in fact, occur.

Sorrowful.

BTW, there is someone posting here as a "student." I highly doubt that this person is any such thing. And even so, for every kid who claims the current schedule works for him/her, there are 50 who crave even an hour more sleep a night and would do anything to get rid of that nasty feeling in your brain when you're trying to stay awake or pay attention and just plain can't.

We have a shot at real change here. At doing what is truly right for our youth. At collaborating like mature adults to identify real vs. speculative issues, then find ways to address them or workarounds.

Will FCPS and its parent/teacher community continue to be a model to the nation -- to the world? Let's see.

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: Jackie-O! ()
Date: February 14, 2009 05:52AM

Loudon Co. did the switch about nine years ago. They have seen no benefit. That is why they are going back to their old schedule. I think the people that want this change are just overindulging parents. The "what can you do for ME" type.
Make your kids buckle down and step up. They are not first graders anymore. And....any group can go out there, throw enough money and some researchers and have them come up with a study that shows why their agenda is so much better

This is not going to pass. The SB is just trying to appease these self entilted snobs.

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: guster ()
Date: February 14, 2009 06:59AM

My sister's junior high tried this late start schedule 3 decades ago in California.

It was a complete disaster. Students were getting in trouble in the mornings before school, they did not get assignments done after school (there wasn't enough time because they got home later), and the plan was sacked after one year.

Truthbeknown, you are only posting tedious, pompous statements that are meant to sound convincing, but there's little truth in them. Your claims about smoking and drinking do not apply to my students, nor to any students that I know. Your post is filled with exaggerated and unsupported claims.

Our family is doing fine with the current schedule. If there are students struggling to manage, their families need to help them within THEIR OWN families and stop trying to bulldoze everyone else in the county with their agenda.

As a person who is definitely unconnected to the powerful/elite in Fairfax County, I find it disturbing that the McLean/Langley group seems determined to continually dictate what the rest of the county does. They only seem happy when finding new ways of wreaking new havoc on other communities.

This is a very difficult time to rearrange the entire county's school schedules.

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: guster ()
Date: February 14, 2009 07:11AM

I received an e-mail from the FCPS middle school in our area. If this plan passes, there will be no after school programs and no late buses. They WILL NOT add before school programs and clubs, either. 'Truthbeknown' is misrepresenting the manner in which the school system will change.

Both the elementary and middle schools will be challenged beyond what is appropriate. But hey! It's all for the McLean and Langley high school students' comfort and convenience. After all, they are more important than the rest of us.

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: oaktonmom ()
Date: February 14, 2009 07:29AM

Jackie-o ... where did you info on Loudoun changing their bell schedule? I can't find it.

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: Jackie-O! ()
Date: February 14, 2009 08:13AM

One of their bus drivers.

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: Robin Hood ()
Date: February 14, 2009 08:58AM

guster Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> My sister's junior high tried this late start
> schedule 3 decades ago in California.
>
> It was a complete disaster. Students were getting
> in trouble in the mornings before school, they did
> not get assignments done after school (there
> wasn't enough time because they got home later),
> and the plan was sacked after one year.
>
> Truthbeknown, you are only posting tedious,
> pompous statements that are meant to sound
> convincing, but there's little truth in them.
> Your claims about smoking and drinking do not
> apply to my students, nor to any students that I
> know. Your post is filled with exaggerated and
> unsupported claims.
>
> Our family is doing fine with the current
> schedule. If there are students struggling to
> manage, their families need to help them within
> THEIR OWN families and stop trying to bulldoze
> everyone else in the county with their agenda.
>
> As a person who is definitely unconnected to the
> powerful/elite in Fairfax County, I find it
> disturbing that the McLean/Langley group seems
> determined to continually dictate what the rest of
> the county does. They only seem happy when
> finding new ways of wreaking new havoc on other
> communities.
>
> This is a very difficult time to rearrange the
> entire county's school schedules.

Exactly and with JackieO's information about LC changing back to their original bell schedule for all levels of their schools, I wonder why they waited 9 years later to decide to change back the bell schedule. I mean come on guys for those supporting SLEEP especially the rabid Langley/McLean clan, where/what exactly HOW can an hour later causes teens to magically feel why I feel refreshed perked up, alert (whatever) after sleeping just one more hour later? Can they just go to bed one hour later? Do we have a huge school performance problem around here that might justify adjusting bell schedules? No, we have a huge problem, we are looking no further than McLean and especially Langley and a host of other political personal agendas held by certain school board members. We will do and continue to do just fine under the current bell schedule.

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: Suburbanite ()
Date: February 14, 2009 09:12AM

TruthBeKnown, many that post here ARE students, so wondering if this is how they solve problems at work is moot. They're still kids and they want to get out of school earlier in the afternoon so they are arguing against the change.

As for the Loudon bell schedules, not sure where you heard it isn't working or when it supposedly went back, but their high schools generally start at 9am.

It's interesting how people site situations where schools supposedly went back to earlier high school start times, and yet, I can find no evidence of any such thing. In fact, more and more school systems are starting high schools later, and of those that have switched, the only dissention has been the initial adjustment period. District after district reports improvements in grades, behavior and overall performance, no one is lamenting how the kids don't have to be out at the bus stop at 6:15 anymore.

TruthBeKnown had a valid point about starting a job at 7:20 in the morning. I know many people who do start jobs that early, but it is NOT the norm. If it were, the phrase "9-5" would be meaningless. Expecting tteens to perform and learn at their best when it is a proven biological fact that they can't is ridiculous.

There will be adjustments to the new schedule, just as everyone had to make adjustments to their schedules when their kids started school or when you started a new job. I'm just amazed at how people can argue against an earlier start time for teens when there is so much evidence nationwide that shows it works.

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: Robin Hood ()
Date: February 14, 2009 09:14AM

Back to my last post, I meant teens going to bed one hour earlier not later.

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: guster ()
Date: February 14, 2009 09:27AM

Here's Langley H.S.'s boundary map:

http://www.fcps.edu/images/boundarymaps/langleyhs.pdf


If Langley students at the far western edge of Fairfax County attended a school closer to their homes, they would have that extra time in the morning. Herndon High School is much closer to this region than Langley H.S.

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: Jackie-O! ()
Date: February 14, 2009 09:26PM

9-5...those are bankers hours. And we all know all the jokes that revolve around "bankers hours" I think the norm is probably 8. Most people, given a choice prefer to go in early and leave early.

I didnt say Loudon has already gone back to the old bell schedule. I said one of their bus drivers has said they will be going back.

I wouldn't mind if the blue bloods of Langley and McLean were the sacrificial lambs. But, I guess when the nanny is raising your kid(s) you dont need the older ones to help out. And since they get up and go to Starbucks it does not interfere with their work schedule.

I know a family that just are not morning people. Guess what? They home school! There is fine idea. Keep the little sleeping beauties at home and get them a tutors.

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: oaktonmom ()
Date: February 14, 2009 09:37PM

A bus driver ... great source!! There is a reason the high schools in Loudoun start late and it appears to be working just fine. Too funny.

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: Jackie-O! ()
Date: February 14, 2009 09:42PM

You would be surprised at the info they get before it becomes public.

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: bus driver ()
Date: February 15, 2009 12:53AM

Jackie-O! Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> You would be surprised at the info they get before
> it becomes public.


That's for sure! The crazies on here would be jealous of the access us drivers have to Dr Dale and Mr Tistadt. We are invited to attend meetings where we are urged to ask questions of them. All FCPS employees are invited to these meetings, not just teachers and administrators. While the general public regards school bus drivers as flunkies, Dr Dale always treats us as valued team members.

He and Mr Tistadt are very approachable and I've walked up to both and asked them questions that they either answered or politely explained why they couldn't answer at that time. At how many companies can a low-level employee like me walk right up to the CEO and ask a question? Not many, I'll bet!

Both those guys are real gentlemen!

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: FYI ()
Date: February 15, 2009 04:37AM

Dear Fairfax County Athletic Community and Supporters:

The Fairfax County School Board has begun discussions regarding a proposed change in the schools’ bell schedule that could take effect as early as this fall. This proposal is backed by community members who believe that a later start time for high schools will result in increased academic performance because students will have extra time to sleep. Recent FCPS studies have shown that the switch in times could be implemented at little to no cost, resulting in increased momentum for the proposal.

The Fairfax County Athletic Council believes that such a change would have significant impacts on the athletic community. Primarily, the proposed change will result in a drastic reduction of available facility space for the county’s community sports participants. Reduced facility space will result in reduced abilities to provide youth with opportunities to participate in sports. In an impact statement delivered this week to the Board of Supervisors, county staff indicated that later high school dismissal times will necessitate later high school sports practices. As a result, during the winter, community use of middle schools will not begin until 7:30 p.m. in most cases. Shifting game schedules would result in high schools using elementary school gyms for practice as well.

Off-campus use of fields for high school practices will also increase. High schools would need more off-campus fields, due to the limited number of lighted practice fields (the later dismissal times would push many practices beyond sundown). The off-campus fields currently used for practices would be used later, diminishing the community’s opportunity to use them when high school practices end. In addition, high schools plan to utilize more facility space on Saturdays for practices, further impacting space available to the community.

Space limitations at high schools necessitate this off-campus use. Currently, some seasons, no fewer than 72 fields at elementary and middle schools and parks are used for practices. In the winter, over 25 middle school gyms are used for high school basketball practice. As these facilities tend to be among the few full-sized locations, this impact becomes even greater. The Fairfax County Department of Community and Recreation Services schedules nearly 250,000 participants each year in gyms and on fields; over 187,000 of those participants are youth. So, the potential impact of this change cannot be overstated, as major changes in facility allocations will have a ripple effect that reaches nearly every participant.

A schedule change will be likely also to have an impact on field quality. The county’s community-based sports groups put thousands of hours of effort and hundreds of thousands of dollars into facility development each year through field adoption programs and turf field development. If community use times on school fields become limited, groups may decide to discontinue these investments.

Those backing the change have indicated that the solution to this problem lies in moving practices, whether for the high schools or the community, to the morning. However, we feel that this is impractical for several reasons, including facility availability, coach availability, and transportation for participants. Finally, and most starkly, asking student athletes to practice in the morning would offset any of the benefits that are being claimed for extra time to sleep in.

Please remember that extracurricular involvement is key to students’ success both inside and outside the classroom. The proponents of the schedule change believe that extra sleep will improve the academic performance of high school students. We all know that there are many factors, however, that contribute to scholastic success. Through their participation in sports, for example, kids learn many of the skills and behaviors and form many of the relationships that help them succeed in school and in life beyond school.

I urge you to get involved on this issue. The School Board, so far, has heard primarily from those advocating this change. Many segments of the community stand to be adversely affected, though, and those voices need to be heard. Here are ways to get involved:
• Attend one of the FCPS Community Dialogue Meetings scheduled for February 24, 25, and 26. These meetings are being held in multiple locations across the county and you do not need to sign up in advance to attend or speak. More information on these meetings can be found at http://www.fcps.edu/news/start.htm.
• Participate in the public surveys on this issue being conducted by FCPS. You can find the survey online at www.fcps.edu.
• Put your views about the proposed change in bell schedule in writing and send them to your elected representatives, especially those on the School Board.
o You can find contact information for your School Board representative on the FCPS website at http://www.fcps.edu/schlbd/members.htm. In addition to your district representative, be sure to copy Chairman Daniel Storck and the three at-large members of the School Board: Ilryong Moon, Tina Hone, and James Raney.
o You can find contact information for your Board of Supervisors representative online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/government/board/. In addition to your district representative, be sure to copy Chairman Sharon Bulova.
• Discuss this with friends and neighbors and urge them to get involved as well.

Thank you for your time and involvement.

Sincerely,

Mark Meana
Chairman, Fairfax County Athletic Council

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: Goodnight ()
Date: February 15, 2009 12:54PM

TruthBeKnown Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> About 9/10ths of the posts on this thread are
> obviously in love with speculation and have never
> bothered to read an iota of the Transportation
> Task Force study or really looked at the research
> on adolescent sleep and on school districts that
> have later start times. They are unmoved by the
> fact that community after community in this
> country has already made or is about to make the
> change because of the undeniable benefits. We can
> no longer claim to be a top school district -- a
> model -- if we continue to deny our students the
> health they deserve.
>
> There is so much fear and trepidation going
> around, it's a wonder any of these adults are
> credible in their professions. Is this how they
> tackle challenges at work? By throwing up every
> conceivable reason a goal cannot be reached,
> whether it's well-founded or not?
>
> Imagine that you have a child who is
> wheelchair-bound. You live in a county that has
> ADA access to everything -- from ramps to
> accessible light switches. This child spends her
> day doing much of what other kids do. She learns,
> plays, goes to activities, does homework, enjoys
> life. Now you move to a county that doesn't have
> any of this access. Instead, you are given a
> brochure that has suggestions for ways you can
> work around the inaccessibility. Exercises you and
> your child can do to so you have the strength to
> lift wheelchairs over curbs. Gadgets you can buy
> to reach light switches. Ways to send pee into
> pots from outside the stall. By the end of the
> day, this child is so exhausted from just trying
> to be mobile that she doesn't have energy for
> homework or play. But the people who live in the
> county are used to it, and really don't see a
> problem. Besides, it would be far too costly to
> create access, and extremely disruptive to the
> mobility of able-bodied people as construction was
> underway.
>
> But if you had a kid in a wheelchair, it would be
> a no-brainer, wouldn't it? You'd argue that lack
> of access denies society an entire swath of talent
> and energy and creativity. You'd argue that the
> population should put up with short-term
> adjustments for long-term benefits. You'd demand
> that officials really do their jobs and figure out
> the least costly way to get this task done, based
> on real data. That just because people were used
> to it doesn't make it less real of a problem.
>
> This is what is happening here. We are so quick to
> claim that our kids don't suffer because of lack
> of sleep -- or that it isn't really serious --
> because we've accommodated their "handicap" into
> our daily lives. Caffeine in high school is a
> pervasive drug. Homework that should last two
> hours lasts three (and NOT because of Facebook).
> Injuries on the field, car accidents (mostly minor
> and therefore not evident to all, but sometimes
> devastating), depression, stress, dropouts (an
> ugly number in this "fancy" county), remediation
> needs, you name it. Kids smoke and drink to
> relieve stress and claim some time of their own
> (self-medicating). We chalk it up to adolescence.
> These kids are being abused, plain and simple.
>
> But here we have adults say "have them meditate so
> they can go to sleep earlier," and "lower the
> lights in the house," and other nonsense to try to
> overcome a biological chemical that governs them
> like insulin does. They have no control over this.
> And more than that, what parent should HAVE to
> devote so much effort to "fixing" something that
> isn't broken? The kid isn't broken. The system
> is.
>
> And -- Why are so many PARENTS so quick to blame
> PARENTING all the time? We don't help them with
> homework enough, or we help them too much. We
> don't feed them right. We don't encourage them
> enough or we push them too hard. We don't
> discipline them enough or we're too lax. We don't
> get them to sleep -- by what, standing over them
> with a hairbrush until they do? Running a bubble
> bath for them every night? It is never enough, is
> it?
>
> And -- People say, "We're the top-rated school
> district in the country! We must be doing
> something right!" Are we? And at what cost? And
> can we, in fact, do better, and do it by a less
> crazymaking method? Anyone looked at the bottom
> "tier" of students? At the depression and drug use
> rates? (The real data -- not word-of-mouth.) The
> relationship issues between parents and kids? Most
> people would a) be appalled or b) not believe the
> data (of course).
>
> And -- Why are we asking the School Board to
> manage our lives for us outside of school? They
> are responsible for academics. That is their
> mission, goal, and charter. It is NOT their
> mission to make sure every last family in this
> county has a comfy schedule, or an easy commute,
> or that Betsy gets to violin lessons. For every
> teacher that would have a "bad" commute or may not
> be able to work the same hours at a second job,
> there is another teacher whose commute would
> improve and could finally get hours for a second
> job. For every adult that may have to change
> coaching schedules, there's one that would finally
> be able to take coaching on. This list is
> endless.
>
> Anybody remember when you had to adjust your work
> schedule to send your kid to school to begin with?
>
>
> Adults can CHOOSE jobs that require them to get up
> at 4:30 am. They can choose whether to put up with
> three hours of work at home each night. Kids
> cannot. High school kids are LEGALLY required to
> show up for "work" at 7:20 am and be totally on
> the ball all day long. The consequences of not
> doing so follow them all their lives,
> administrators-teachers-parents scream at them.
>
> I am frankly appalled at the self-oriented nature
> of some of the opposition to bell schedule
> changes. Besides the pure scientific illiteracy
> that's going on, why are teachers and parents so
> consumed by what will ultimately be an ordinary
> adjustment in their lives -- adjustments that they
> would willingly make for other gains like a new
> job or new activity in their childs' life -- that
> they would deny the real and essential benefits to
> more than 80K "neighborhood" kids?
>
> It's sorrowful. Adults are putting themselves
> first, acting like agitated children who are asked
> to change their play date. Or they're acting on
> emotional appeals to raw fears that their kids
> will be irreparably harmed, such as by having an
> activity "killed," when no such harm will, in
> fact, occur.
>
> Sorrowful.
>
> BTW, there is someone posting here as a "student."
> I highly doubt that this person is any such thing.
> And even so, for every kid who claims the current
> schedule works for him/her, there are 50 who crave
> even an hour more sleep a night and would do
> anything to get rid of that nasty feeling in your
> brain when you're trying to stay awake or pay
> attention and just plain can't.
>
> We have a shot at real change here. At doing what
> is truly right for our youth. At collaborating
> like mature adults to identify real vs.
> speculative issues, then find ways to address them
> or workarounds.
>
> Will FCPS and its parent/teacher community
> continue to be a model to the nation -- to the
> world? Let's see.



Oh please, take your pillows, lady, and shove them where the sun don't shine.

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: Jester ()
Date: February 15, 2009 01:46PM

Finally I'm awake and ready to post. Always great to sleep in until noon on Sunday.

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: Thinking ()
Date: February 15, 2009 02:12PM

Wow! Lots and lots of misinformation.

1. Loudoun isn't switching back.
2. Orange County hasn't switched back yet. They are trying to figure out what to do b/c the "flip" they did high school at 9:30 and middle school at 7:30 is saving them $2 million. 9:30 is later than what was proposed for high school here and it's true, people didn't like it. Their website says they will be trying to figure this out by March, so . . . let's see what happens.
3. Sandy Evans and Phyllis Payne aren't McLean parents, so . . . stop picking on McLean and Langley.
4. The benefits for high school students are significant and universal -- don't act as if you care about poor, working students. The students who spend the most time working a job are the ones who are the most sleep deprived.
5. Later start times for high school students helps to keep kids from dropping out. I'm guessing that McLean and Langley don't have a huge problem with this--it's the Stuart, Annandale, Mt. Vernon, etc. schools that will benefit the most by helping kids to stay in school.
6. Later start times help students stay healthy--they will miss less school and parents will have fewer doctor's appointments, so they'll miss less work.
7. This isn't about convenience. We have a huge problem with teen depression in this County--later start times will help.

As for the Post above from Mr. Meanu. He obviously hasn't spoken with the SLEEP people. If he had he would know that SLEEP has data showing that the basic premise for all of the negative impacts on community use is flawed.

No buses until 5:40?!? That's just plain wrong and it is brought to you by the same staff who previously told citizens that switching bus times was impossible b/c it would cost too much. Wrong!

School buses will be available much earlier, so the predictions of what will happen to sports and how late games will be pushed is ALL wrong!

He states that SLEEP simply proposes to move all practices before school. Wrong!

(Although, it's worth noting that kids practice before school NOW, so . . . how exactly would they lose sleep with a new later schedule? If he's worried about sleep for athletes, why doesn't he advocate for a stop to ALL before-school practices--it seems to me that they may be particularly detrimental to athletes with the current early start times? Sleep improves athletic performance--just ask the jet-lagged away teams).

To see some suggestions from SLEEP, read the "Sports Position Paper"
http://www.sleepinfairfax.org/

Add: docs/SportsandSLEEPPositionPaperFINAL%2002.01.09.doc to the URL above.

You'll see that SLEEP hopes to minimize any disruption to community use. My guess is that they would prefer to work with Mr. Meanu and the Athletic Council to preserve community use time by keeping high school practices and game times as close to the current as possible. Eliminating the down time between end of school and start of practice makes sense. There was an article in the Fairfax Extra about putting this FLEX time into the school day for other reasons (not sport-related). It works better for kids -- especially the AT-RISK kids that people here seem to assume the Langley, McLean and SLEEP people don't care about... hmmm... who is using these kids for excuses? It's not the SLEEP people.

RE: the assumption about holding practices before-school...

If some practices were to occur before school, that would still be preferrable to the current schedule which holds all of the students hostage -- it would mean some students getting up early some days of the year (by choice) rather than all students getting up early every day of the year -- by dictate of an archaic system.

Perhaps some people on this thread remember the days when high schools in Fairfax didn't start until 8:15 or 8:30? It wasn't that long ago -- we had sports.

To bus drivers who want to work a mid-day job--the amount of time between the last morning drop off and the first afternoon pick-up really hasn't changed that much in this draft proposal, so...????

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: Lester ()
Date: February 15, 2009 02:53PM

What are these kids going to do when they get in the real World? Tell their bosses they need a later start to perform better?

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: *?* ()
Date: February 15, 2009 03:24PM

Lester Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> What are these kids going to do when they get in
> the real World? Tell their bosses they need a
> later start to perform better?


Real world...pshaw...Mommy and Daddy will bail them out again. Just live at home Biff until you finally catch up on your sleep"

WTF..bunch of sissy ass kids these days!

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: Mrs.Puffy ()
Date: February 15, 2009 09:37PM

Very few kids support SLEEP. It is only the fuzzy-slippered house fraus who hate having to drive their kids to bus stops while they still have curlers in their hair who support SLEEP. Don't you know the loads of research out there that shows how damaging it is to the forty-something ego to be seen at the bus stop or kiss and ride in your bathrobe and curlers at 6:30 in the a.m? Gosh you people.

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: Real world? ()
Date: February 15, 2009 09:40PM

Who in the real world has to be in his office at 7:20?

What adult here, someone over 35, had to be in school that early?

It's ridiculous.

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: Steve K ()
Date: February 15, 2009 10:56PM

5. Later start times for high school students helps to keep kids from dropping out. I'm guessing that McLean and Langley don't have a huge problem with this--it's the Stuart, Annandale, Mt. Vernon, etc. schools that will benefit the most by helping kids to stay in school.
6. Later start times help students stay healthy--they will miss less school and parents will have fewer doctor's appointments, so they'll miss less work.
7. This isn't about convenience. We have a huge problem with teen depression in this County--later start times will help.

Thinking, what a damn joke of a post.

5- How the hell does later start times keeps kids from dropping out of school. That is the stupidest shit I have heard yet on this board. If kids are going to drop out of school, I can assure you it is not because of an early start time. Jeez what crap, and the funny part is the Mclean people will hire a researcher to say it's true.

6. Later start times will not keep people healthy, anyone with some intelligence knows the kids will stay up later. If they were that concerned about their health, they would go to bed at 10 and not watch the Real World. I had two daughters go through the system, and to say I had to take them to the doctors more because they got up early is not true.

7. Then explain to me how in the damn world, a later start time will help teen depression? Give me one good answer. Some teens are depressed, it comes with puberty for some, but to say this county has a teen depression problem is another bull shit remark.

I cannot stand dumb remarks like these, and the school board giving into this crap. Thank god families are responding to this under the radar proposal, along with staff and educators at the schools. No way this passes.

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: FCPS has seen its better days ()
Date: February 16, 2009 12:05AM

Bottom line for my family--

one child HS junior in a county school, one child HS freshman in private school (due to redistricting/pupil placement issues). Two parents graduated from FfxCounty High Schools, back when the school system was one of the elite systems

I am so happy that the junior will get out of the school system without seeing more than one year of the start times pushed back, and I am finding the tuition paid for the freshman to keep him away from this declinling school system to be a wise investment on our part.

Now I just need to figure out when to move out of FfxCounty, where my wife and I have spent nearly all of our lives, before the school system screws up so badly that our home/property value no longer carries a premium for being in FfxCounty.

It is getting very close to time to move on.

The poster who suggested that we just let Langley and McLean change their schedules, and leave the rest of us alone, is to be applauded for his/her line of thinking. I know it would not be feasible to do that, based upon the feeder schools not being 100% aligned with the high schools, but at least it is an original thought that bears consideration.

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: Stop the Abuse ()
Date: February 16, 2009 12:41AM

Steve K obviously fell asleep in school when anything related to science or analysis was brought up. He also has a little too much testosterone (steroid use, maybe?) because he loves to shoot straight from the hip. If he bothered to check any of his idiotic assertions and counterpoise against actual data or facts (that's the stuff that brings him most of his goodies in life, like technology and medical care), he'd be rudely awakened from the willful ignorance he carries around so proudly like dictators and autocrats around the world love to do.

Go back to your cave in the mountains, sir, and leave progress to the rest of us.

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: asshat ()
Date: February 16, 2009 03:54AM

ok, so the very first statement of your argument pretty much negates the rest of it, academics take precedence over athletics. Dont most schools get out at 3PM nationaly? If they can work athletics in, how is this such a problem?

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: awfa ()
Date: February 16, 2009 03:57AM

guster Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
These parents say
> studies show the current start times are so
> damaging for their students. But most of the
> population has been doing fine with the current
> schedule. These narcissistic parents simply want
> things their way.

Uh actually i think its been stated numerous times that people are not getting nearly enough sleep, and it is causing significant physical and mental problems in our adult population. Its probably the reason why half of the adult population is on some kind of anti-depresant.

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: guster ()
Date: February 16, 2009 07:17AM

awfa wrote:

Uh actually i think its been stated numerous times that people are not getting nearly enough sleep, and it is causing significant physical and mental problems in our adult population. Its probably the reason why half of the adult population is on some kind of anti-depressant.

"It" can been "stated" as many times as willful, narcissistic people want to, but saying that "people are not getting nearly enough sleep" does not mean that NO ONE is getting enough sleep in Fairfax County, or the USA. I have not seen one fact or piece of profound truth coming from the SLEEP folks here. It's all hyperbole and hysterical, willful drama.

I get enough sleep. It's a priority I choose. Let these people whose children are struggling with depression, over-scheduled sports programs, etc. choose what their priorities should be within their own family and stop dictating to the rest of the county what our lives should be like.

Depression/anger in this county probably is not due to lack of sleep only. It's also due to the nature of this region (close to DC, the stress). Getting on a bandwagon saying SLEEP will save EVERYONE from this terrible nightmare is a joke.

I agree with Steve K. No one has made any convincing case for changing the schedules. It's just been hysterical posting "save our teens from depression and destructive behavior!"

Examine the start/end times proposed of every school in the FCPS website. For most high schools, they will be starting an hour later. Langley H.S. will start at 8:55 am. Quite a difference. Most elementary schools will begin at 7:50 am and get out at 2:30 pm. The middle schools start at 9:40 am and dismiss at 4:30 pm. Someone mentioned switching these elementary and middle school times in the proposed changes. That would probably be easier on the elementary students and parents.

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: Lysi ()
Date: February 16, 2009 11:32AM

To see some suggestions from SLEEP, read the "Sports Position Paper"

And who wrote this position paper? You make it sound like an official document when it's really just another slant in support of SLEEP. Indeed, the SB is charged with academics. Sports and all the other extra curriculars help make well rounded, well adjusted students that generally do better in school.

The SLEEP proposal is yet one more example of the SB (potentially) creating problems just to fit a program.

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: Suburbanite ()
Date: February 16, 2009 11:38AM

Okay, here's something NOT from SLEEP, but from the Mayo Clinic. Since you can't seem to follow the preiviously posted links to the scientific research.

Teen sleep: Why is your teen so tired?
Teen sleep cycles may not match family and school schedules, but you can help them synchronize. You might start with bright morning light.

Teens are notorious for staying up late at night and being hard to rouse in the morning. Your teen is probably no exception. But it's not necessarily because he or she is lazy or contrary. This behavior pattern actually has a physical cause. And there are ways to help mesh your teen's sleep schedule with that of the rest of the world.

A teen's internal clock
Everyone has an internal clock that influences body temperature, sleep cycles, appetite and hormonal changes. The biological and psychological processes that follow the cycle of this 24-hour internal clock are called circadian rhythms. Before adolescence, these circadian rhythms direct most children to naturally fall asleep around 8 or 9 p.m. But puberty changes a teen's internal clock, delaying the time he or she starts feeling sleepy — often until 11 p.m. or later. Staying up late to study or socialize can disrupt a teen's internal clock even more.

Too little sleep
Most teens need about nine hours of sleep a night to maintain optimal daytime alertness. But few actually get that much sleep regularly. Part-time jobs, homework, school activities and friends often are prioritized higher than is sleep. In fact, more than 25 percent of teens report sleeping only 6 1/2 hours a night or less, according to the National Sleep Foundation.

Big deal? Yes. Irritability aside, sleep deprivation can have serious consequences. Daytime sleepiness makes it difficult to concentrate and learn, or even stay awake in class. Too little sleep may contribute to mood swings and behavioral problems. And sleepy teens who get behind the wheel may cause serious — even deadly — accidents.

Playing catch-up
Catching up on sleep during the weekends seems like a logical solution to teen sleep problems, but it doesn't help much. In fact, sleeping in can confuse your teen's internal clock even more. A forced early bedtime may backfire, too. If your teen goes to bed too early, he or she may only lie awake for hours.

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: anadult ()
Date: February 16, 2009 11:45AM

Real world? Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Who in the real world has to be in his office at
> 7:20?
>
> What adult here, someone over 35, had to be in
> school that early?
>
> It's ridiculous.

Really? I have to be at work (in a FCPS high school) at 7:05. I'm way over 35. I grew up in NY and high school homeroom started at 7:25am (way back in the 1960's). That same high school still starts at 7:25am today.

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: collegebound ()
Date: February 16, 2009 11:53AM

SLEEP's attitude is that academics should take precedence over athletics and other after school activities...

Well, i'll tell you it takes more than academics to get into college... colleges are looking for well rounded students....kids who have other things in their lives beyond class...just check out any college application

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: Suburbanite ()
Date: February 16, 2009 11:55AM

And here's another piece from the National Sleep Foundation in conjunction with National Institutes of Health:

Waking sleeping teens for school is more than a routine annoyance for many parents. It is an ordeal. No matter how much you plead with them to go to bed earlier, nothing seems to get them up on school mornings.

Early morning start times for high schools in many communities are often part of the problem, as school clocks conflict with teens’ own body clocks, which go through a significant shift in circadian rhythm during adolescence. The circadian rhythm is the internal body clock that regulates periods of sleep and wakefulness. Thus the problem is more than disciplinary; the “shift” that teens experience means they tend to have trouble falling asleep before 11 pm and waking up before 8 am. When classes begin early in the morning, between 7 and 7:30 am, for example, and it takes at least an hour to get up, get out, and get to school, chances are that these teens don’t get the 9¼ hours of sleep experts say most adolescents need.

The amount of sleep teens get is only part of the problem; they wake up before their bodies and brains are ready to be awake, interrupting their sleep cycle, which goes through several different stages during the night. Some of the most restorative sleep, and the part that helps the most with learning, occurs in the last stage of sleep, which can be cut short when the alarm rings.

Teens pile up a considerable sleep debt over the course of a week. Even with the extra sleep they get on weekends, most find it hard to catch up. And the change in their sleep schedule from weekend to weekday can make it harder to get the quality sleep they need.

Sleep is essential to the health, academic success and athletic performance of teens. Without enough sleep, they can have difficulty paying attention, and their cognitive function and decision-making can be impaired. Sleep deprivation can also increase the likelihood of emotional and behavioral problems, such as irritability, depression and violence, and lead to greater susceptibility to illness. Sleepy teens have an increased likelihood of drowsy driving and tobacco or alcohol use.

Many school districts across the country have already changed high school start times with impressive results. In a district in Minnesota, for example, follow-up studies show that starting classes just 65 minutes later resulted in students sleeping, on average, an hour more a night; attendance improving and tardiness dropping; fewer visits to the school nurse; and fewer disciplinary referrals to the principal. Counselors reported fewer students seeking help with academic stress and for relationship problems with peers and family. In addition, teachers noted that students were more alert and ready to participate in ways that promote a real education. Students reported less sleepiness in class or while doing homework, and parents reported that their children were easier to live with, experiencing fewer confrontations and more actual conversations and “connect time.” There was even increased participation in after-school activities.

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: guster ()
Date: February 16, 2009 12:14PM

Lengthy posts with mounds of undocumented 'sleep research data' and claims of harsh high school conditions don't match my student's experience.

The middle school start/end times are terrible (9:40am-4:30pm). Disadvantaged students will get no more help after school and no late buses. The middle schools will not add special programs for before school.

Apparently, only the high school students' schedules matter to the folks at SLEEP.

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: tubby ()
Date: February 16, 2009 12:46PM

"Early morning start times for high schools in many communities are often part of the problem, as school clocks conflict with teens’ own body clocks, which go through a significant shift in circadian rhythm during adolescence. The circadian rhythm is the internal body clock that regulates periods of sleep and wakefulness."


Hey, circadas only come out every 17 years, right? So what's the problem?

I also have a solution for "hard-to-rouse" teens. I saw it on an old Three Stooges short. The Stooges were upstairs in bed sleeping, and their mother just pulled a rope downstairs, which upended the bed and dumped the Stooges out onto the floor....waking them immediately.

We should start manufacturing beds like that...we'd make a fortune!

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: Robin Hood ()
Date: February 16, 2009 04:48PM

tubby Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> "Early morning start times for high schools in
> many communities are often part of the problem, as
> school clocks conflict with teens’ own body
> clocks, which go through a significant shift in
> circadian rhythm during adolescence. The circadian
> rhythm is the internal body clock that regulates
> periods of sleep and wakefulness."
>
>
> Hey, circadas only come out every 17 years, right?
> So what's the problem?
>
> I also have a solution for "hard-to-rouse" teens.
> I saw it on an old Three Stooges short. The
> Stooges were upstairs in bed sleeping, and their
> mother just pulled a rope downstairs, which
> upended the bed and dumped the Stooges out onto
> the floor....waking them immediately.
>
> We should start manufacturing beds like
> that...we'd make a fortune!



Nice suggestion, Tubby. Somebody ought to start selling these kind of beds to the McLean and Langley clan for starters.

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: nonya ()
Date: February 16, 2009 09:22PM

anadult Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Real world? Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Who in the real world has to be in his office
> at
> > 7:20?
> >
> > What adult here, someone over 35, had to be in
> > school that early?
> >
> > It's ridiculous.
>
> Really? I have to be at work (in a FCPS high
> school) at 7:05. I'm way over 35. I grew up in
> NY and high school homeroom started at 7:25am (way
> back in the 1960's). That same high school still
> starts at 7:25am today.

It was a joke anadult. Go back to sleep.

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: guster ()
Date: February 17, 2009 05:54AM

The SLEEP website reads like something out of George Orwell's "1984." These people are incapable of thinking anyone but themselves have intelligent ideas or valuable opinions.

Sample: The opposition continues to spread misinformation.

These SLEEP Nazis need to be stopped. No one is saying teens don't need sleep. We just don't need to have the entire system rearranged this year like you claim in order to save these teens from "depression and destructive behaviors."

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: real people ()
Date: February 17, 2009 06:10AM

Real world? Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Who in the real world has to be in his office at
> 7:20?
>
> What adult here, someone over 35, had to be in
> school that early?
>
> It's ridiculous.


I am over 35. I had to be at school at for a 720 bell. I MUST be at work at 6AM...my employer would like 5.

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: Steve K ()
Date: February 17, 2009 10:45AM

guster Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The SLEEP website reads like something out of
> George Orwell's "1984." These people are
> incapable of thinking anyone but themselves have
> intelligent ideas or valuable opinions.
>
> Sample: The opposition continues to spread
> misinformation.
>
> These SLEEP Nazis need to be stopped. No one is
> saying teens don't need sleep. We just don't need
> to have the entire system rearranged this year
> like you claim in order to save these teens from
> "depression and destructive behaviors."

Exactly my point.

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: Big Picture ()
Date: February 18, 2009 02:04PM

Please, everyone note that virtually ALL Middle Schools will end at 4:30pm under this proposal NOT 4:00. It will kill all forms of after school activities, help and remediation for students who need it. This is NOT Misinformation. With 4:30 pm closing times that WILL happen. We will lose many good teachers and after school specialists because of this. It will cost most MORE money and LESS time with their kids. Fairfax County will have more teenage drivers on the roads at peak driving times in one of the most congested areas of the country. All this for an extra hour of sleep that some may or may not actually take advantage of. Great call! Are you really looking out for ALL of the kids best interests?

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: Suburbanite ()
Date: February 18, 2009 02:51PM

It's been mentioned before and it's even in the reports from FCPS, the schools are moving towards using study hall periods DURING the school day. MANY teachers and and STUDENTS PREFER it. So, no it won't cost more, if anything, maybe less since the teachers won't have to stay after school two or three days a week like they have been doing. Of course, many don't do that anyway.

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: guster ()
Date: February 18, 2009 04:07PM

In total agreement with you, Big Picture.

All the after-school programs and late buses will end for the middle school students. No time for students who need extra assistance after school. For many students, this is their only chance for extra help (they may not get any support from their home environment). Many students used the after-school programs and the late buses at Sandburg Middle School.

All of this will be taken away if the SLEEP proposal passes. No before-school programs will be added to make up for the loss. It will hurt many more students than it will help.

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: not me ()
Date: February 18, 2009 05:10PM

Don't be a boob. Middle school is a transient thing...you are in and then out. Kids who want/need help can go to school early. And what after school activities are there for middle school...Spongebob. Soccer/baseball practice starts at 6pm or so...plenty of time to get home, get a snack, and go. They can do homework afterwards, or in the morning. (Most do not have after school anythings, so we are talking about the tip of the tail of the dog here).

If you had a high school kid, you'd see what a pain 0500 wakes up are. Kids are more maleable when they are younger...the middle schoolers will survive.

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: Robin Hood ()
Date: February 18, 2009 06:47PM

not me Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Don't be a boob. Middle school is a transient
> thing...you are in and then out. Kids who
> want/need help can go to school early. And what
> after school activities are there for middle
> school...Spongebob. Soccer/baseball practice
> starts at 6pm or so...plenty of time to get home,
> get a snack, and go. They can do homework
> afterwards, or in the morning. (Most do not have
> after school anythings, so we are talking about
> the tip of the tail of the dog here).
>
> If you had a high school kid, you'd see what a
> pain 0500 wakes up are. Kids are more maleable
> when they are younger...the middle schoolers will
> survive.

Several things to bring up if this SLEEP passes, will teachers in middle schools be willing to come in early to help their students before school starts? Or will middle schools allow students to come in well before the bell starts? How early? The reason is for working parents especially single parents with a risk of inflexibility from bosses for adjusting their work schedules.
Secondly, for sport practices, typically baseball practices start at 5 not 6 pm. I know that from personal experience with my kids. I am not sure about soccer though. Go ahead and call me a boob, but the proposed middle school hours are absolutely ridiculous.

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: aparent ()
Date: February 18, 2009 07:05PM

All the people posting that everything can just switch to the morning, or that teachers will help during Study Hall, or that practice will just be later, or blah, blah we just want to sleep later because our children will be smarter are full of shit and they know it.

High schools have been trying for years to get extra help during the day "LS periods" and it doesn't work. Obviously teachers are already staffing "study halls" so how many different students can come in with different problems during the 40 minute study hall class?

After school activities (not just sports) such as band, theatre, debate club, yearbook, newspaper, etc and outside school activities - tutoring, jobs, babysitting, etc.... the list goes on and on.... cannot just be switched to the morning. Clearly, all these things will go later into the evening. Which will amount to less family time, less down time for the kids, staying up later to do homework and NO ONE WILL GET ANY EXTRA SLEEP.

It's easy for those whose kids do nothing but go to class and come home to say they want an extra hour of sleep. It's not that easy for the others.

Not to mention the way they are changing all the elementary schools and middle schools just so a few pampered princes and princesses can stay up later and sleep in the morning.

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: tubby ()
Date: February 18, 2009 07:28PM

The general public is fairly oblivious and I'm afraid these SLEEP motherfuckers will win this thing before everybody else finds out how bad they're being screwed.

There needs to a huge publicity campaign so SLEEP doesn't get away with this horseshit!

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: Steve K ()
Date: February 18, 2009 08:51PM

I have a feeling the public is becoming aware; there are too many people opposing this, for it likely to happen. At the meetings next week, several parents will be attending from both middle and high school avidly opposing this measure. I will be there at Rocky Run aswell.

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: Suburbanite ()
Date: February 18, 2009 08:56PM

aparent Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>.
>
> High schools have been trying for years to get
> extra help during the day "LS periods" and it
> doesn't work. Obviously teachers are already
> staffing "study halls" so how many different
> students can come in with different problems
> during the 40 minute study hall class?
>

And how many can stay after the one or two days there are late buses? Not as many. Get a clue.

> After school activities (not just sports) such as
> band, theatre, debate club, yearbook, newspaper,
> etc and outside school activities - tutoring,
> jobs, babysitting, etc.... the list goes on and
> on.... cannot just be switched to the morning.
> Clearly, all these things will go later into the
> evening. Which will amount to less family time,
> less down time for the kids, staying up later to
> do homework and NO ONE WILL GET ANY EXTRA SLEEP.

School system after school system across the country has made this change and studies have shown students average at least an extra hour of sleep with it. Try reading a little research before you shoot off at the mouth with your opinions veiled as facts.

>
> It's easy for those whose kids do nothing but go
> to class and come home to say they want an extra
> hour of sleep. It's not that easy for the
> others.
>
I still won't be getting to sleep in any later, but I actually read the studies and feel it is better for the teenagers based on the results of the scientific community's findings.

> Not to mention the way they are changing all the
> elementary schools and middle schools just so a
> few pampered princes and princesses can stay up
> later and sleep in the morning.

This will help over 50,000 students, not just a few. Studies have proven this. Studies that were performed by the National Sleep Institute with the National Institutes of Health, NOT just a few prima donna parents.

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: guster ()
Date: February 19, 2009 06:13AM

"suburbanite"--not every teen in the county has a problem obtaining with the current schedule. This plan is rearranging the entire county's pulse in order to convenience the students who are in the "special" Langley boundary and travel 12+ miles to school (passing other CLOSER FCPS high schools, but of course the parents don't want their students to go to THOSE high schools.)

You are giving your opinion as more important than other people's schedules.

Yes, teens need sleep. We all need sleep. No one here requires a stupid study to figure that one out.

Get off your throne and take off the tiara. No one made you the queen.

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: guster ()
Date: February 19, 2009 06:17AM

Left out a word: Not every teen in the county has a problem obtaining sleep with the current schedule.

Apparently, only the Langley and McLean parents cannot manage their lives and require the county to change everything to suit their families. There was an article about the county soccer fields a few months ago. McLean parents insisted on their teams having priority in scheduling practices.

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: Liam ()
Date: February 19, 2009 10:48AM

Oh Guster, Guster,Guster. Becasue of you I can actually get some sleep instead non-stop worrying about what this proposal will do to my elementary and middle school kids, not to mention my high schooler who thinks this prop. is designed for a "bunch of sissies." Keep up the good work at exposing these SlEEP Nazis. One thought about SLEEP's claim about all the "studies," these studies are merely theories.

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: not me ()
Date: February 19, 2009 12:59PM

I agree that Langley parents and school board folks are assholes, and the far western kids should go to Herndon, South lakes or Madison. But I also support SLEEP. The research seem irrefutable...teens do better academically with later wake up times. Re: sports, band etc....collateral damage to the greater good.

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: guster ()
Date: February 19, 2009 01:39PM

Thank you, Liam!

I'm definitely opposed to the mentality and narcissism of the SLEEP mothers, but I am not a part of an organization or social network around here. I'm more of a maverick. I should call myself "Amelie" (after the French movie)--that would be more accurate.

The students who struggle to get more sleep need to handle this problem within their own families. They would be amazed at how much more time they would have if they lived closer to their high schools.

Langley, McLean and Lake Braddock aren't starting at 8:30am like the other schools. Langley's proposed start time is 8:55am. West Springfield's current start time is 7:30am (proposed start-8:30am). Quite a difference when you go through every school (elementary, middle, and high school) and look at who plans to start when.

Another poster mentioned that many TJ students whose base school is Langley actually board the TJ bus at Herndon High School because Herndon is much closer to their home. I was told this would not be tolerated by the transportation office. So the official statement says one thing, but the Langley parents pitch a fit, make their demands and get their way again. It's time to put an end to their running over everyone else in the county.

TJ is usually at the very end of the list for bus arrangements. But even then, Langley and McLean routes for TJ are the first ones established (I was told by more than 2 people). Because these parents insist on their way.


Love, Amelie

http://www.allmoviephoto.com/photo/2001_amelie_004.html

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: guster ()
Date: February 19, 2009 04:30PM

Some views from people opposed to SLEEP's schedule changes:

http://www.connectionnewspapers.com/article.asp?article=325603&paper=68&cat=110

http://www.connectionnewspapers.com/article.asp?article=325603&paper=73&cat=110

The SLEEP people attempt to undermine any opposition to their proposed schedule changes (that uniquely benefit Langley and McLean High Schools) by branding the opposing views as mere opinions. Their view is supported with copious references to tedious studies that proclaim "people need more sleep!" as though it's a profound discovery.

SLEEP people have convinced themselves this schedule change will rescue the many sleep-deprived teens from their depression and destructive behaviors.

These narcissistic SLEEP parents have deluded themselves into believing they are initiating this SLEEP plan for the benefit of all. It's dangerous to let them implement this change. They are never happy unless they are running over other people in the pursuit of their agenda.

"Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live." ~ Oscar Wilde

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: MrMephisto ()
Date: February 19, 2009 05:17PM

When I was in school, my parents sent me to bed at 10:00 PM. If I refused or talked back, I got a slap in the face. If I wanted to lay there with my eyes open all night, they didn't care, but I couldn't turn the light on.

If I didn't wake up in the morning when my alarm went off, I got a bucket of water on me. If I missed the bus in the morning, I was grounded. If I didn't feed the dog before I caught the bus, I was grounded. If my grades slipped, I was grounded.

You SLEEP and Fairgrade assholes are raising a generation of undisciplined pussies. Hope you're proud.

--------------------------------------------------------------
13 4826 0948 82695 25847. Yes.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/19/2009 05:19PM by MrMephisto.

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: Stop The Abuse ()
Date: February 19, 2009 10:03PM

OMG. This is a thread for abusive parents. And I thought it was about bell schedules. But nope. Parents are blaming kids and other parents for what their bodies do to them. (And dissing science, like good Creationists.) Guess they'd also send their kids to anti-gay camp to "fix" that problem, too.

If it makes their petty, selfish adult lives more convenient, then go for it! To Hell (literally, huh?) with all the kids who suffer because of legally imposed sleep-deprivation.

Time to get out the bloody belts.

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Just hire more bus drivers
Posted by: APorIBMom ()
Date: February 19, 2009 11:25PM

The staff-drafted proposed bell schedule assumes that FCPS will not hire additional bus drivers. One wonders whether the staff's proposed bell schedule also was designed to maximize inconvenience and generate as much parental opposition as possible.

I'm told that many FCPS bus drivers have three morning runs and three afternoon runs. That's why some of our schools start and end so much earlier than others. Meanwhile, FCPS has hundreds of spare buses.

Why not just hire more bus drivers, so that most or almost all of our schools can start between 8 and 9 AM? Given current economic conditions, it probably wouldn't require much effort to recruit more bus drivers.

As for costs, does FCPS really need about 1,750 central headquarters employees? For example, eliminating a hundred plus positions in just the Division of Instructional Services (which some teachers have said would never be noticed in the schools) should more than pay for the extra bus drivers. For that matter, eliminating another hundred plus positions in instructional services might mean that class sizes don't have to increase. Let all those former teachers go back to the classroom, and see how well their teaching strategies, etc. work in practice.

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: Great Ideas! ()
Date: February 20, 2009 12:52AM

APorIB Mom should run for school board. She's SO sensible.

I've heard that FCPS has the software that would figure out the bus routes, but the bus people aren't computer literate enough to use it. They write it all out, on little cards.

You're right, staff is making it so that no one will want a change in the bell schedules so they have a good excuse to do nothing, which is what they always want to do, nothing. Dale and the SB will say they simply did what the public wanted, nothing.

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: guster ()
Date: February 20, 2009 06:06AM

Keep up the dramatic, hysterical postings, 'stop the abuse'. It drives more people away from your platform!

Yes, I must be a child abuser. My students are happy, manage to enjoy and thrive in their FCPS despite the control-freak parents who attempt to control the system, and they are not depressed nor self-destructive. And they love and respect their parents (because they are so grateful that we're not like the aggressive, narcissistic and haggish McLean mothers!). I'm way kinder and foxier, too!

Amelie

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: guster ()
Date: February 20, 2009 06:21AM

Great ideas, APorIBMom! If there were more buses/drivers, more schools could start at the best times for their area and not have to stagger the schedules so much.

I won't have an elementary school student this fall, but the elementary schedule proposal is terrible for most schools (7:50am-2:30pm). A few schools like Waynewood Elementary escape the earliest start times. Their parents won't allow it.

The middle school schedule is even worse. 9:40am-4:30pm. That is abuse of students. No after-school programs, especially for the students who need help. The middle school for my student sent an e-mail stating if this plan passes, they will not start before-school programs.

The SLEEP parents refuse to address this situation. How does this proposed middle school schedule benefit those students? It does not. But they conveniently ignore mentioning it and avoid acknowledging concerns people direct toward it. Instead, they latch on to their hysterical platform of 'our high school students are being abused by a cruel bell schedule!'

If the Langley students have a difficult time getting to their far-off school every morning, then it's time to re-examine their ridiculous boundary. Especially if Herndon H.S. is closer to their home.

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Re: Just hire more bus drivers
Posted by: she is smart ()
Date: February 20, 2009 08:20AM

Best idea yet. The SB and FCPS HQ is full of idiots who rob us blind. A very bloated staff and budget. They threaten us with larger class size etc so they can maintain their cushy lifestyles. I like Mao...send the chair jockeys back to the fields to plant rice...or in this case, drive a bus or teach a class.


APorIBMom Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The staff-drafted proposed bell schedule assumes
> that FCPS will not hire additional bus drivers.
> One wonders whether the staff's proposed bell
> schedule also was designed to maximize
> inconvenience and generate as much parental
> opposition as possible.
>
> I'm told that many FCPS bus drivers have three
> morning runs and three afternoon runs. That's why
> some of our schools start and end so much earlier
> than others. Meanwhile, FCPS has hundreds of
> spare buses.
>
> Why not just hire more bus drivers, so that most
> or almost all of our schools can start between 8
> and 9 AM? Given current economic conditions, it
> probably wouldn't require much effort to recruit
> more bus drivers.
>
> As for costs, does FCPS really need about 1,750
> central headquarters employees? For example,
> eliminating a hundred plus positions in just the
> Division of Instructional Services (which some
> teachers have said would never be noticed in the
> schools) should more than pay for the extra bus
> drivers. For that matter, eliminating another
> hundred plus positions in instructional services
> might mean that class sizes don't have to
> increase. Let all those former teachers go back to
> the classroom, and see how well their teaching
> strategies, etc. work in practice.

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Re: Just hire more bus drivers
Posted by: suburbanite ()
Date: February 20, 2009 09:24AM

As wonderful as hiring more drivers sounds, it's not that easy. In case you weren't aware, Fairfax County has an unemployment rate of like 2.5%. No one wants to drive a bus full of screaming kids when there are so many other less obnoxious environments.

There are signs all over the county asking for people to come in and apply. I believe the salary is something like $16.91 an hour now. Plus, employees get some sort of bonus for bringing in new drivers, and I seem to recall a signing bonus for new drivers after six months or something.

Fairfax can't find enough drivers. They've been trying for the last decade, but it's not a particularly pleasant job and it has very odd hours. Plus, you need a clean driving record.

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: Mary ()
Date: February 20, 2009 09:28AM

The problem with our kids is that they are SPOILED ROtten!
They never changed the time when I was going to school so I could sleep longer!

Forget this! Kids need to get their LAZY BUTTS out of bed and get to school!
\I can see it now when they finish school if they do there jobs will say OH JUST COME IN AFTER YOU ARE Rested up!
Shame on this COuntry for what is going on. Now kids can sleep longer so they are more rested. What about the older people and people having to deal with traffic and having to leave 2 hours early to get to work.
If kids did not stay up half the night talking on the phone, playing on facebook and myspace, and chatting on line their butts would be up in the morning.
PARENTS need to put there FOOT DOWN and TAKE CONTROL.
Hey I'm tired today think I wil lskip work. What a JOKE

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: MrMephisto ()
Date: February 20, 2009 11:20AM

Pretty soon, kids will just go to school whenever they want, and no matter what they do, they're going to get straight A's so every kid has a fair chance.

Again, these parents are pussies raising pussies, and I hope they don't live long enough to watch how bad this country gets fucked up because of it.

--------------------------------------------------------------
13 4826 0948 82695 25847. Yes.

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: Stop The Abuse ()
Date: February 20, 2009 11:51AM

suburbanite is wrong about buses. The county now has plenty of drivers AND unemployment here is greater than 5%. Hiring drivers is not a problem any more. Don't make things up to bolster more fear, please.

And - what was I saying about abusive parents? Beware the Marys of the world - like mother like daughter. Since you suffer, your kids should, too. Right?

Mr. Mephisto must not have kids, or if he does, Social Services is watching right around the corner.

Reminds me of the guy that walks three dogs in our neighborhood off leash. They follow right on his heels and keep their heads down like little canine slaves. I asked him how he disciplined them to do this. He said he basically hit them until they learned, arguing that he is their "alpha" and they needed to learn to obey him. I steer totally clear of him because any animal treated like that is likely to lash out if given one iota of a chance. And who knows how he'd respond to me if I bugged him for some reason?

You don' treat animals like that. And you don't treat other human beings like that.

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: MrMephisto ()
Date: February 20, 2009 11:57AM

I don't have kids yet, but I can guarantee that when I do, they will eat your kids alive.

Boo hoo, I must have been so abused as a kid because my parents would slap the shit out of me if I acted in a disrespectful, disobedient way. They were only feeding me, clothing me, giving me a place to sleep, taking me to the doctor, and trying to provide the best for me. How dare they discipline me?!

You sound like the kind of parent that would call the police if you saw someone spank their kid in public. Your kid is FUCKED when he/she reaches the real world. Good job!

--------------------------------------------------------------
13 4826 0948 82695 25847. Yes.

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: guster ()
Date: February 20, 2009 12:26PM

'stop the abuse'--Please keep posting here. Your posts are so poorly thought out and badly written that they help support the views of people against SLEEP's proposed schedule changes for the middle and elementary schools.

Why do the pro-SLEEP people ignore the questions regarding the changes to the middle school programs? What are their answers to the people with the elementary students who need different day care arrangements? They conspicuously remain silent on these issues.

If there's no problem hiring bus drivers, then let Langley have their own set of buses/drivers. They can have what ever schedule they wish and leave the rest of the county alone.

It would be difficult for them, I'm sure. They love manipulating people.

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: Robin Hood ()
Date: February 20, 2009 01:32PM

Once again, Sandy Evans, the cofounder of SLEEP was mentioned in a recent Fairfax Times newspaper. She said SLEEP would rather see this happen sooner than later, but not pushing too hard and wants to come up with a solution that works for everyone. How is that gonna work if middle schools are getting the biggest shaft if this SLEEP passes?

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: MrMephisto ()
Date: February 20, 2009 01:36PM

Robin Hood Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Once again, Sandy Evans, the cofounder of SLEEP
> was mentioned in a recent Fairfax Times newspaper.
> She said SLEEP would rather see this happen
> sooner than later, but not pushing too hard and
> wants to come up with a solution that works for
> everyone. How is that gonna work if middle
> schools are getting the biggest shaft if this
> SLEEP passes?

Because her precious snowflake would benefit, and that's all these selfish fucks can think of.

--------------------------------------------------------------
13 4826 0948 82695 25847. Yes.

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: Mary ()
Date: February 20, 2009 02:49PM

Hey Stop the Abuse

I hope when you grow up you will understand what DISIPLINE is all about.
First of all You do not know me, and I am glad I do not know you.
You do not know if I have children and frankly it is not your Business. People that write the way you do are the ones that want to try to CHANGE AMERICA only to SUIT YOUR NEEDS, which shows how self centered you are.
If you work does your Job say oh Please take a few extra hours of your morning to get rested up so you can be bright eyed and bussy tailed for when you arrive. Get a LIFE, Grow UP and Start Dhowing Disipline to yourself and kids. Kids today are BRATS, self Centered and could care less about htere parents. Most kids that I come across talk down about their parents, say they are A--Hol-- and talk about how they sneak around becasue there parents don't care and just want them to be happy.
Happy MY A-- They need a Belt across there butts, better yet aswitch would be better.
Maybe if some parents showed their kids alittle attention and listened to them they would not be bratty and stay up all night talking on instant messanger to their so called friends, and putting pictures of themselves on myspace.
GROW UP this is AMERICA

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: APorIBMom ()
Date: February 20, 2009 03:48PM

Mr. Mephisto,

Sandy Evans' child would not benefit from a change in the bell schedules. She also lives in the Mason District, not in the McLean or Langley HS pyramids. SLEEP's co-founders have donated thousands of hours because they cared about all children, even if their own children would not benefit.

It's possible to disagree with SLEEP about the relative strength of the arguments for and against changing bell schedules, especially when FCPS staff produces a bell schedule that seems designed to maximize public opposition. However, but it's not appropriate to mislead the public about the motives of SLEEP's co-founders.


MrMephisto Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Robin Hood Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Once again, Sandy Evans, the cofounder of SLEEP
> > was mentioned in a recent Fairfax Times
> newspaper.
>
> Because her precious snowflake would benefit, and
> that's all these selfish fucks can think of.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: parent ()
Date: February 20, 2009 03:50PM

I am against the new time change only because of the proposed time for middle school. What are working parents suppose to do, especially if you child is a walker? Most parents in this area both work!

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: MrMephisto ()
Date: February 20, 2009 03:55PM

We could transport the kiddies around in solid gold busses, and there would be some dumb ass mother arguing it's not good enough; they need to be platinum.

--------------------------------------------------------------
13 4826 0948 82695 25847. Yes.

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: go home ()
Date: February 20, 2009 05:30PM

God frowns on working mothers...should be home with the kids.


parent Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I am against the new time change only because of
> the proposed time for middle school. What are
> working parents suppose to do, especially if you
> child is a walker? Most parents in this area both
> work!

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: Suburbanite ()
Date: February 20, 2009 05:41PM

Stop The Abuse Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> suburbanite is wrong about buses. The county now
> has plenty of drivers AND unemployment here is
> greater than 5%. Hiring drivers is not a problem
> any more. Don't make things up to bolster more
> fear, please.
>
Sorry, I was wrong, unemployment in Fairfax County was 2.2% in December 2007, as of December 2008 it's 3.4%

(Data taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics) Still no where near 5%.

As for drivers,it's not as much of a problem right now, but it will be again for the next school year. The system goes through a period of desperate recruiting every year. But you are correct, thanks to incentives, they are currently fully staffed, so much so that they are requesting an additional 1.5 million to cover those costs next year.

A quote from an August 2008 Fairfax Times article:
"Fabry said driver recruitment and retention are going so well, in fact, that an additional $1.5 million was requested in the fiscal 2009 school budget for driver pay."

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: Jackie-O! ()
Date: February 20, 2009 06:08PM

Thank God 99.9% of the teachers are against this!!!

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: parent ()
Date: February 20, 2009 06:22PM

go home

That's why I work early hours so my kids are not home alone... Changing the bell schedule will screw everything up at the middle school level

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: guster ()
Date: February 20, 2009 06:47PM

Does anyone in Fairfax County (teacher, parent, student, any citizen at all) think the middle school schedule proposed by SLEEP of 9:40am-4:30pm is wonderful?




My student (7th grade this fall) and I think the middle school schedule they proposed is terrible. We also think the elementary school times of 7:50am-2:30pm will be tough on people with younger children (especially those parents with babies/toddlers to take with them). Whether you use daycare or you are a stay-at-home mother, the elementary times will interfere with the very young children's afternoon nap times.

I would recommend the SLEEP people conduct a study of how many students are damaged or traumatized by manipulative, agenda-pushing parents trying to run the schools in this area.

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: NativeVirginian ()
Date: February 20, 2009 07:25PM

God, no schedule is going to be perfect for everyone. Geez, get over it all already. You had to adjust to the schedule that's currently in place and every time your kid goes to a different school, whether its because you moved or because they've graduated to the next level school, you have to adjust your schedules again.

Middle school kids are there for a measly two years. Get over it already, someone is going to get screwed with the schedule no matter what they do.

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: bus driver ()
Date: February 20, 2009 07:45PM

Suburbanite is absolutely correct about bus driver hiring.

In the 22 years I've been driving we have never, ever NOT ONCE been fully staffed with bus drivers. The shortage has been as high as 300 (I LOVED those days of unlimited overtime!). In the last few years, since they have added English lessons to bus driver training, the shortage is currently down to about 50.

The immigrant drivers are very good employees, but don't be surprised if your child's driver doesn't understand what you are saying to them. We can't understand some of them either.

The turnover is very high also, medical problems, at-fault accidents, getting caught using a cell phone or not wearing seat belts, traffic citations (2 in a year, even in your personal car and you're G O N E). Then you have the preposterous accusations by parents. They fire a lot of drivers, and a lot quit every year.

Before the immigrant hiring spree, most drivers were either retirees or mothers with kids. Often the mom drives a bus for two reasons: 1) health insurance for her family and 2) she can bring her own kids on the bus thus saving child care costs. If the County ever does away with either of those benefits, I think at least half the mom drivers would quit. I'm sure you hard hearts will laugh, but I'm always touched when I see a young mom arrive at her bus, in the pitch black at 5:30 am, in freezing cold or pouring rain with several toddlers, or even infants in tow. Now THOSE are some kids that could use some SLEEPIN! (and those buses take FOREVER to warm up!)

On other points, yes there are 400 spare buses, but they are in constant use to replace regular buses that are in for regular maintenance (about every 6 weeks). Or to replace buses that need serious repairs like new engines, etc. Plus the spare buses are the very oldest in the fleet (up to 19 years old) and they break down constantly themselves. There is a chronic shortgae of spare buses. This is going to get worse because with the budget shortage, they won't buy any new buses for years.

Someone asked why can't Langley have their own buses? They do. Drivers are assigned to a high school and the middle/elementary schools that feed that high school. So yeah, I don't see any reason why Langley couldn't change it's bell schedule and leave everybody else alone.

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: guster ()
Date: February 20, 2009 08:04PM

Thank you for your perspective and information, bus driver. You know how things really operate behind the scenes.

Perhaps they can switch the proposed middle school schedule with the proposed elementary school schedules.

By the same reasoning, nativevirginian, the high school students can also adapt.

Lecture away about 'getting over it' and adapting to new schedules. Most people around here are used to changes. We can make a change work if we have to. But that doesn't mean every change that's proposed around here is intelligent and practical. We'll call it stupid if we think it's stupid. And 9:40am-4:30pm is stupid.

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: Steve K ()
Date: February 20, 2009 11:24PM

NativeVirginian Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> God, no schedule is going to be perfect for
> everyone. Geez, get over it all already. You had
> to adjust to the schedule that's currently in
> place and every time your kid goes to a different
> school, whether its because you moved or because
> they've graduated to the next level school, you
> have to adjust your schedules again.
>
> Middle school kids are there for a measly two
> years. Get over it already, someone is going to
> get screwed with the schedule no matter what they
> do.

someone is going to
> get screwed with the schedule no matter what they
> do.

Exactly. So why the hell change it. It has worked fine the decades it has existed. I bet almost all of us started high school at 7:30am aswell. We survived, and I sure as hell know I was not depressed. These SLEEP people will throw out many lines, but this change would negatively affect alot more than it would please. As people have said, most teachers, students and parents do not want this. Just a select group of loud ones, who want to pamper their children, and I bet most of those parents do not have children active in after school activities, they just have kids who cannot manage time and stay up late watching MTV. Well shame on you. You will take away family time, and good lucking having your kids adjust to the real world. You want to talk depression, wait till the real world slaps your kids accross the face.

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: guster ()
Date: February 21, 2009 07:15AM

The meetings at different schools are coming up next week. I'm not from here (originally from coastal California) and have never been to one of these parent fights in Fairfax County.

What do I do? Is it pretty bad? Do I need a burly bodyguard?

guster, also known as Amelie

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Re: FCPS Do Not Push School Start Times Back
Posted by: Liam ()
Date: February 21, 2009 08:31AM

Why do the pro-SLEEP people ignore the questions regarding the changes to the middle school programs? What are their answers to the people with the elementary students who need different day care arrangements? They conspicuously remain silent on these issues.

Dearest Guster,

The reason is that they have no answer ( But we knew that already) as evidenced in the Connection this week in an opinion piece by Lisa Priebe, SLEEP Pyramid Coordinator, South County Secondary. Her very fancy title leads one, albeit a naive one, to believe she's the authority and therefore we must be reassured. Yes, she wants to "reassure everyone who has concerns about the permanent and crippling disruptions, that they are unfounded." And she goes on, "give them a chance to smooth out the rough edges." Translation: Ram it down our throats and they promise to address all the problems they've created later...promise. After we pay for Gatehoue II and build a new middle school in South County...promise. Ahhh, I'm so reassured right now that I might just be lulled back to sleep by her reassurances.

Yes, do go to a meeting next week. They are quite entertaining. No violence. No body guard necessary. Just cerebral people who drone on with "facts". Self centered people who talk about themselves ad nauseum. At least one SB member will eventually snap and say something they regret, and hopefully a few people will get in a well thought out,non- offensive, concise opinion.


PS Careful with the maverick thing, You may be accused of being "mavericky."
Admirably,
Liam

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