The new school board members began their 4-year term. During their campaigns, 10 of the 12 said they would vote for "a new FCPS policy to require that high schools start after 8:00 a.m. in the morning", and 8 said they would be willing to "put forth a motion to vote on such a policy."
School board creates a stop-gap option to provide relief to a small number of students. A student, with his or her parent's permission and ability to get to school without FCPS transportation, may replace a first block class with a dual-enrollment or online class, or a study hall.
School Board votes in favor of a resolution to set a Goal To Start High Schools After 8:00AM, recognizing that sleep is a priority to student health, well-being and performance.
The resolution also directed FCPS staff to identify successful approaches and practices used in districts that currently start high schools after 8:00 AM. FCPS staff did not complete the assignment and recommended that the school board hire a consultant. Previously, the Transportation Task Force had recommended that FCPS hire a change management consultant.
An Ad-hoc Committee of the School Board, Patty Reed, Sandy Evans, Ryan McElveen, and Ted Velkoff, created a Scope of Work, which was approved the by entire school board.
SLEEP volunteers disseminated information at Back-to-school events and attended the RealFood4Kids Food Day Event.
FCPS issued a request for proposals (RFP). The schedule calls for the work to begin in 2013.
SLEEP joined forces with Start School Later (SSL)-Montgomery County and SSL Anne Arundel County.
Did you know that SLEEP representatives also serve on the Partnership for a Healthier Fairfax, the Northern Virginia Healthy Kids Coalition (the 9-5-2-1-0 Campaign), and the Fairfax Education Coalition?
SLEEP leaders participated in the community dialogues about what characteristics we would like to see in the next Superintendent. The school board is still conducting a survey about this.
Miles to go before we sleep . . .
In terms of sleep for students, 2012 has been one of forward progress. Stay tuned. Real breakthroughs could come in 2013 as we work with school board members and other stakeholders to resolve challenges raised in previous discussions of later high school start times. Many miles have already been traveled and there is real hope that the current school board will bring healthy schedules to Fairfax students.
Wishing you a restful and peaceful school holiday, Phyllis Payne and Terry Tuley