Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Check details of CMS school time survey

People who care about Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools bell schedules care a lot,  and there's a lot to read in the results of surveys of 11,000 parents,  5,000 parents and 2,000 students.

Susan Plaza
The School Time Task Force that generated the surveys voted Monday to shorten the elementary day and move back the controversial late bell schedule,  undoing changes that were launched during the recession to save money on busing.  The report will go to Superintendent Heath Morrison;  presumably any changes with significant costs would have to be worked into the 2015-16 budget plan.

Susan Plaza,  one of the parents on the task force,  says CMS opted not to send a press release summarizing the survey results.  The online reports,  prepared by the K12 Insight consulting group,  present the raw data in an number of formats and groupings.


Anonymous said...

Blah blah blah CMS is too big.

Anonymous said...

MOrrison and " Market Adjusters" are BULLIES.

Anonymous said...

Those in the transportation department will not allow any changes to occur. They are not open to any new ideas. I get changing things, but people-start with changing the high school times first as that is something that down the road affects every child in CMS. Stop being selfish about the late school schedule-when you trash talk it-you are essentially trash talking those with 2 working parents (whose children don't get home after 5 anyways).

Anonymous said...

If Morrison wanted something done he would not have put it into committee. Broadie doing what Broadies do - make it look like you are doing something when you are not.

Anonymous said...

Bingo! Why waste time and money with more surveys, task forces, studies, and pilot projects when the deleterious effects of the current schedules were identified by scientific studies years ago? Because it kicks the can down the road without effecting any real change.

Does anyone else find it curious that district costs are always measured in the number of classroom teaching positions saved or eliminated? How many superfluous academic facilitator and administrative positions (e.g. the newly-added zone superintendents) would we need to eliminate to save the same amount of money and truly create positive change for "every child, every day"? My guess is that number would be quite a bit lower than eighty.

Anonymous said...

The only school start time that does not make sense (and is backed up by medical data) is the early high school start time. Apparently the students feel the same way with most agreeing that 7:15am is too early and 68% saying they struggle to get out of bed or are late to school. Also important is that 62% of HS students are getting less than 7 hours of sleep a night. That is alarming for both physical and mental health.

Daddy Daycare said...

Why did CMS trans department delete the 7:30am elementary school start time? Because it was too early and young students were waiting out at bus stops before 7am and there were safety concerns. Finally a smart decision from CMS.

Anonymous said...

I find it very interesting that many of the parents who are complaining about the 9:15-4:15 schedule are the ones who are choosing to send their children to Magnet schools with these start times, thus the long bus rides home.

Anonymous said...

5:56 I was thinking the same thing. This is why I can't stand the "business" atmosphere, all these meetings with no one just saying "this is what will change, head of transportation make it happen, teachers and parents are unhappy". Drives me nuts. Isn't this why Morrison has a $300,000+ a year salary, to make these decisions? Give me a break. Get rid of two admin positions...bam there is the money to pay for multiple bus routes per neighborhood elementary, middle and high schools. Work with principles and parents of the magnet programs.

Anonymous said...

The CMS Communications and Obfuscation department refused to send out a press release while personnel are jockeying for new positions in Union County and other states. Shocking! Ann has given examples of those crafty folks and their spin machines for years.

Anonymous said...

The notion that little Johnny or Jane in elementary school get home too late after the school bell rings to do anything but homework, eat dinner and go to bed is garbage.

It's called adjustments. If your family and elementary child cant adjust to meet the schedule then I fear for our future workforce.

It's called life, you deal with it and do the best you can.

Elementary teachers seem upset with the extra time they have to teach, that makes sense, so give that time over to more specials like art, PE and other physical activity.

High school start times should definitely be changed to later, but it's tiring to hear all the whining about children having no time at home because of the late bells, I call BS on that.

Anonymous said...

I have polled my MS and HS students. I asked them what time they go to sleep on school nights. The answers ranged from 11:00 to 1:00. I then followed up by asking them, Would you go to sleep at the same time if school started later. ALL of them responded NO. They said that if school started later they would be able to stay up later. Good PARENTING is what provides a child with 8-9 hours of sleep per night. Take away the cell phone (charge it in your room). Put a daily password on the computer, (when your child finishes homework, chores, you give them the password and a time limit). Take the TV OUT of their bedrooms. Bedrooms are for sleeping. Set a bedtime AND enforce it. Lights out at 9:00 on school nights. OH, but I am sure that is waaaaaysome parents don't want to "get into it" with their child. Parenting IS a tough job. Especially when it is done correctly. The students who are academically successful are those whose parents are PARENTING!!

Bubba said...

If they change the elem school hours and remove 30 minutes from the school day then they don't have to change the bell schedule.

I believe that all schools should start between 7:45 - 9:15 anyway, like most parts of the country. That would give CMS plenty of time to bus kids all over kingdom come.

Anonymous said...

4:21 I absolutely agree with you that parents need to parent their kids, get rid of TV/tech gadgets as we have done in our house. But you are incorrect. The students would go to bed at the same time (between 11-1), and get the extra hour of sleep in the morning if school started later. Most teens do not get the recommended 9 hours of sleep a night. That would mean that our CMS high school students should be asleep by 9pm, assuming a 6am wake up (and unfortunately many hs students have to wake up before 6am for buses).

36 school districts across the country are now changing early high school start times due to all the medical data that supports it. Our teens do not perform better at 7:15am. Just ask all the High school teachers how many of their students are sleeping, or late, during 1st Block.

Anonymous said...

Stop the spin! I just read the article about the Bell Schedule Task Force. The MS principal noted that 17 teachers have left over the past few years because of the bell schedule. So? How many of her teachers were let go or left for other reasons? Does that mean that the 20+ staff members that are leaving/left AK high school this year left because of the 7:15am bell schedule? I'm sure many of them did as well.

Anonymous said...

FYI, teachers leave for a variety of reasons, only one of them being the bell schedule.

Carolyn Chambers said...

The CMS Transportation department dictates school start and end times. Couldn't they run the buses more efficiently, fewer buses running and fewer stops to tighten up the bus schedule? I know that most of the high school buses in the mornings are empty due to the fact that most students drive or carpool to school because of the early bus schedules. why are so many empty buses on the road?

Anonymous said...

Seriously, this is just a bunch of parents who are complaining about their little johnny and suzy.

I have two children at a 9:15am school, we make it work. They are both involved in after school activities and have plenty of time to eat and do homework. We actually have time together in the morning, and can do doc appts in the morning as well. Works out great!

Sorry this doesn't work for some of you overprotective Gen X Moms.

Anonymous said...

All these posts for a late HS Bell sound like the same person disguising their self? The style of writing is the same for each entry and each basically says the same thing?

Anonymous said...

Shouldn't this be a customer centric school system and not a transportation dept dictate based school district?

Solution - CMS should allow families the option to attend any neighborhood school that works with family schedules, as long as the family provides their child transportation.

Anonymous said...

Hey Bell schedule people, you can thank the Magnet schools and the crazy Magnet school transportation issues for the current bell schedules.

Anonymous said...

Interesting read from the latest Journal of Educational Psychology.

"Early Elementary School Start Times Tougher on Economically Advantaged Children, Study Finds
Later school start should not focus solely on adolescents, researchers say -

WASHINGTON — Middle- and upper-class elementary school students in Kentucky demonstrated worse academic performance when they were required to start classes early, compared to peers whose school day started later, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.

Researchers led by Peggy S. Keller, PhD, of the University of Kentucky, theorized that earlier school start times would be associated with lower standardized test scores, poorer attendance, more students being left back, lower school rank and school underperformance. They also expected that earlier start times would be especially risky for school performance standards in more disadvantaged schools, including Appalachian schools and those with a higher percentage of students receiving free or reduced-cost lunches.

“What we found, however, was early start times were associated with worse performance in schools in more affluent districts — that is, those with fewer kids getting free or reduced-cost lunches,” Keller said. “For schools with more disadvantaged students, later start times did not seem to make a difference in performance, possibly because these children already have so many other risk factors.”

The researchers examined data from 718 public elementary schools in Kentucky. Student performance was measured by looking at scores on a statewide standardized test that assessed reading, math, science, social studies and writing. They also looked at attendance rates, the number of students who were required to repeat a grade (retention rates) and teacher-student ratios."

Anonymous said...

If the buses are at the school by 4:20pm to pick up the students, the bell schedule shouldn't be a problem.

I agree that if the buses are not able to be at the schools by 4:20, then this is absolutely a CMS transportation issue that needs to be fixed. All students should be home by 5pm.

Anonymous said...

CMS lost outside magnet school funding up until 2007. Then in 2008, the financial market crashed reducing CMS' county funding. Since then CMS has proudly touted the magnet schools to all who would listen, and siphoned funding from other non-title 1 schools to do so.

The terrible CMS bell schedules are a result of CMS' need to reduce costs, by maximizing fewer buses, while maintaining magnet schools, and inner city school costs per student. These schedules are dictated to the CMS administrators by the Transportation Department Director, Ms. Carol Stamper and her team. If CMS were truly interested in reducing costs, they would base bus routes on actual ridership, not the projected ridership that results in so many CMS buses crisscrossing the county with so few students on the bus.

Anonymous said...

Why can't CMS become more customer oriented?

Let families that prefer a different bell schedule to move their child to a school with a schedule that better suits their family's needs. Just make the family provide their own transportation.

Anonymous said...

CMS seems capable to only doing one thing well - driving away families who have the capability of leaving CMS by moving, or who can afford to move their kids to private school.

Take a close look at CMS at any level, and you will find an organization that operates outside of reality.

Technology is rapidly replacing teachers in our suburban schools, and administrators are blaming the bell schedule for teachers leaving their schools. REALLY?? I don't think so. The stress and strain of being asked/forced to manage more students in a classroom then is reasonable, is more likely the primary reason.

Anne, is there any evidence to suggest why teachers are leaving, instead of what CMS administration wants us to believe which is a lack of funding.

Ironically, one CMS elementary school just had an "emergency" PTA meeting to vote on how to spend an absolutely excessive amount of end of year funds, yet this same school's principal bombarded parents with emails about the need for higher county support, i.e., tax increases. Funny, how they shake down the parents for PTA support, and turn around and ask them to demand that the politicians shake them down again with tax increases.

When and where will this ever stop????

Mary Skelly said...

The consequences of sleep deprivation during the teenage years are particularly serious. Teens spend a great portion of each day in school; however, they are unable to maximize the learning opportunities afforded by the education system, since sleep deprivation impairs their ability to be alert, pay attention, solve problems, cope with stress and retain information. Young people who do not get enough sleep night after night carry a significant risk for drowsy driving ; emotional and behavioral problems such as irritability, depression, poor impulse control and violence; health complaints; tobacco and alcohol use; impaired cognitive function and decision-making; and lower overall performance in everything from academics to athletics.

Anonymous said...

Poll the kids. My bet is most would rather keep the schedule the same rather than get home when it is dark.

Anonymous said...

Anne, is there any evidence to suggest why teachers are leaving, instead of what CMS administration wants us to believe - which is the bell schedule?

Anonymous said...

11:39 The high school students were just polled and a majority of them disagreed with the 7:15am start time, as well as 54% of the parents. Also 68% said they struggled to get out of bed, were tired and late to class. 62% of students said they get less than 7 hours of sleep a night. The info is in the survey results.

Anonymous said...

The major argument for early start times is TRANSPORTATION. Solution: HS and MS students living and attending schools within the CATS system should use public transportation. A special bus pass should be issued for "free" transportation during school hours. THESE buses are running on the taxpayers backs anyway. We wanted to be a major city, this is how the Big Boys do it. We are now the 16th largest city in the country. Start acting like it.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:36,

I love your suggestion!

I would also recommend that CMS simply allow that CMS should those families who have an issue with their neighborhood school's schedule the ability to move their child to another, with the stipulation that they provide their own transportation.

This option alone could significantly reduce CMS transportation requirements, since so many families are already using school carpools to deliver their children to school.

Shamash said...

These CMS polls are a waste of time.

Hardly anyone answers them, so the results are pretty much worthless.

You can read the detailed reports and see this.

I call BS on the whole process, not just the results and conclusions.

Shamash said...

Anon 1:32pm.

"The high school students were just polled..."


Not really.

At least not in any relevant or professional way.

The survey is totally bogus.

It is not a scientific sampling.

No matter how many statistical "studies" they produce from their "results", it is not a good poll.

You cannot conclude much of anything from the poll except that it represents ONLY the opinions of those who answered it.

It may or may not represent the
opinions of the general public (or "students", or "teachers", etc., etc.).

CMS is depending on public ignorance of proper polling methods to manipulate people and make it look like they are "doing" something or responding to the will of the people.

Take our schools back said...

Half a dozen years or so ago, CMS experimented with later start times at 2 high schools. The first week was not over when parents started calling and complaining that since the kids did not have to leave for school before the parents left for work, the kids were more likely to not get up and make the bus or even make to school any other way.

Additionally, CMS added longer days to one elementary school many years ago and the teachers and kids could hardly stand each other by the end of the day. The school faced its highest teacher turnover ever.

Needless to say, public education these days is headed into the toilet because of all of its inflexibilities. We all will be better off with all charter schools. The leftover schools will simply be truly "warehouses" that many family units seemingly perfer.

Anonymous said...

Wow! I guess I should just see zombies walking the mile from Bailey Road park to the high school. Wait, I don't. No high school kids doing the zombie shuffle muttering things about brains. Nope, 200 students walking with their friends, smiling, talking, enjoying their last moments of freedom.

Anonymous said...

And to the poster of "Early Elementary School Start Times Tougher... study"... You need to look at the underlying studies that these researchers based much of their justifications on. For instance, a study where they changed for one week the school start times and then went back to regular times and concluded well of course that start time worked better.

The length of time was not long enough for the habits and rituals to change to adjust to the new times. Over 3 or more months the bed times will slip later and you will again be back at the same point.

Since children are required to get X amount of sleep. You can push back the time when they are supposed to go to bed or you can adjust when they wake up.

So, parents be parents. Unplug your kids, be parents. Unplug your kids, turn off the tv, be a parent.

Anonymous said...

"Take our schools back said..."

Sadly, you fail to mention that the schools where later start times were tried were historically troubled schools (left unnamed to avoid offending anyone). Please present all of the fact, instead of cherry picking the ones that support the status quo.

Anonymous said...

The bell change crowd should make sure no testing occurs during that week in the fall when students lose that hour of sleep until their bodies adjust to the new time.

Shamash said...

Anon 11:19am.

"historically troubled schools..."

Better not let anyone's grandma hear you saying that.

Or you be in a heap o' trouble with the CMS goon squads.

Anonymous said...


I know, I know, that's why I avoided saying which ones knowing that I'd be in big, big trouble if I did. But, the truth is the truth, and the bell schedule change that was tried at "two schools" didn't take because they were not the best schools in the district.


Shamash said...

Anon 3:53pm


Ah, sanitized for our protection.

Much better. Grandma would not disapprove.

It's the politically correct way.

Sugarcoat all shortcomings and especially failings.

Because they are all "good kids".

Even if they are suspended a dozen times and are caught with a gun in school.

Of course, we ALL know that some kids will just abuse whatever slack you cut for them.

And those are the kids we will continue to throw the most money and other resources at.

Anonymous said...


Sadly, those most likely to remain dependent upon the government will continue to receive a disproportionate share of assistance from the government.

Why would the government ever "waste" providing assistance to those who will not remain dependent upon it?

The bureaucracy would die if they did that!