Bell Times: The Process

Updated on Thu, 05/07/2020 - 7:36am
BellTimes_TheProcess

In Fall 2019, the Five Star District set in place a process to explore adjusting bell schedules. As part of this process, the district wanted to understand the community’s interest in a change, what values the community has in regard to a possible change and cost implications for various scenarios.

  • Early November 2019 - The first community-wide survey identified the community values and priorities regarding potential bell schedule changes (see overview of results below)
  • Mid November 2019 - After district staff researched more than 10 proposed bell times scenarios taking into account transportation, walk-times, cost and more, four new bell time scenarios were chosen using the community's values as conveyed through the first survey. The finalized four scenarios were sent forward to consider for bell schedule adjustments (two cost-neutral and two requiring financial investments).
  • Dec. 4, 2019 - The district hosted its first staff open house for feedback on the four proposed scenarios
  • Dec. 9 and 11, 2019 - The district hosted community open houses for feedback on the four proposed scenarios
  • Dec. 15, 2019 through Jan. 5, 2020 - A second survey was sent to all staff and community to collect feedback on the four proposed scenarios (see overview of results below)
  • Mid-January 2020 - Based on in-person and survey feedback on the four scenarios, the two viable options remaining were a 30 Minute Push (Scenario #3) or Current Schedule (given survey feedback and budget forecast)
  • Jan. 31, 2020 - Interest Based Strategies (IBS) negotiations team receives update on bell schedules process and work of the Elementary Plan Time Study Committee
  • Feb. 6, 2020 - Elementary Plan Time Study Committee meets based on the direction of the IBS team 
  • Feb. 18, 2020 - Stakeholder group of principals, assistant principals, building Association Representatives (ARs) and Faculty Advisory Committee (FAC) members meet to provide feedback on Elementary Plan Time Study Committee recommendations
  • Feb. 19 through Feb. 26, 2020 - The third survey sent to staff and community asked participants to select either Scenario #3 or the Current Schedule as their most preferred schedule for the 2020-21 school year (see overview of results below)
  • Feb. 26, 2020 - IBS negotiations team receives feedback from larger stakeholder group
  • Early March, 2020 - Based on all feedback above, district staff begins finalizing a bell schedule recommendation for the Superintendent
  • March 16, 2020 - COVID-19 closes in-person school for remainder of the year
  • April 2020 - Bell Schedule Steering Committee reconvenes with online meetings to finalize recommendation to the Superintendent

Bell Schedule Steering Committee

Tobey Bassoff, Elementary School Leadership Executive Director
Molly Brandt, Nutrition and BASE Director
Chris Brecht, Communications Administrator
Dave Bahna, Executive Director, Assessments, Evaluation and Analytics
Tracy Dorland, Deputy Superintendent
Dave Lockley, DTEA President
Joe Ferdani, Chief Communications Officer
Octavio Flores, Transportation Operations Manager
Beau Foubert, Curriculum & Instruction Executive Director
Chris Gdowski, Superintendent
Ginger Barton, Sr. Executive Assistant
Kathlynn Jackson, Early Childhood Education Director
Kylie Russell, Athletics & Activities Director
Carrie Lachermeier, BASE Operations Manager
Jeff Oehm, Executive Director Strategic Technology
Pat Hamilton, Chief Operating Officer
Lee Peters, High School Leadership Executive Director
Igor Petrovic, Director of Transportation & Fleet Services
Mark Poshak, Culture and Engagement Manager
Priscilla Straughn, Chief Academic Officer
Lisa Salazar-Hart, Resource Manager, Nutrition and BASE Programs
Matt Schaefer, Planning Manager
James Scott, Elementary School Leadership Executive Director
Myla Shepherd, Chief Human Resource Officer
Tara Pena, Middle School Leadership Executive Director
Kevin West, Charter School Liaison
Ashish Mahajan, Chief Information Technology Officer
Lynn Saltzgaver, Gifted Services and Advanced Academics Director
Paul Williams, CSEA President

Bell Schedule Steering Committee Recommendation 

Read the Decision Making Report and Recommendation from the Bell Schedule Steering Committee given to the Superintendent for final consideration. 


Overview of Survey Response Data:

Community-Wide Survey #1- Values and Beliefs Regarding Bell Schedule

  • When considering new bell schedules, which of the following factors are most important to you? 
    • That students get enough sleep to perform well in school: 90% of respondents
    • That students are released early enough to participate in athletics and activities without further impact to their class schedule: 42% of respondents
    • That students do not need to walk home in the dark during the winter months: 38% of respondents
  • What is the Latest Reasonable Release Time?
    • Elementary: 4 p.m. or earlier - 90% (55% selected 3:30 p.m.)
    • Middle School: 4 p.m. or earlier - 83%
    • High School: 4 p.m. or earlier - 80% 

Community-Wide Survey #2 - Bell Schedule Scenarios 

  • Choosing a new bell schedule: Nearly 70% of respondents indicated an interest in changing from the current bell schedule (5,916 respondents of the 8,646 total):
    • Option #4: 14.45%
    • Option #3: 21.4%
    • Option #2: 10.79%
    • Option #1: 21.79%
    • Total: 68.43% favors a new schedule
  • Preferring to stay with current bell schedule: 31.58% favor current schedule (2,730 of respondents out of the 8,646 total)
    • Roughly 30% of all stakeholders favor the current schedule
    • Roughly 37% of high school students favor the current schedule
    • Roughly 34% of staff favor the current schedule
    • Roughly 28% of parents favor the current schedule

Community-Wide Survey #3 - Preferred Bell Schedule (Choosing between Scenario #3 vs Current Schedule)

  • Roughly 56% of all stakeholders prefer the current bell schedule over Scenario #3 (30 minute push) 
  • Student responses by level were as follows: 
    • Roughly 49% of Elementary school students favor the current bell schedule; 51% prefer a 30 minute push 
    • Roughly 57% of middle school students favor the current bell schedule; 43% favor a 30 minute push
    • Roughly 56% of high school students favor the current bell schedule; 44% favor a 30 minute push 
  • Parent responses by level were as follows: 
    • Roughly 62% of elementary school parents favor the current bell schedule
    • Roughly 69% of middle school parents favor the current bell schedule
    • Roughly 58% of high school parents favor the current bell schedule 
  • Staff responses by level were as follows: 
    • Elementary school staff favor Scenario #3 (30 minute push) at roughly 51%
    • Roughly 79% of middle school staff favor the current bell schedule
    • Roughly 52% of high school staff favor the current bell schedule 

Moving Forward with Our Community

Given multiple data points, including feedback from staff and community over eight months, the superintendent adopted the recommendation of the Bell Schedule Steering Committee to push start times 30 minutes. Read about the Bell Times Solution