From the superintendent

supt_silva_4.jpg

Dear Colleagues:

Regardless of whether you celebrated Easter, or just enjoyed a quiet weekend, I hope you had time to relax and spend time with family and friends. As we approach the end of the school year, our work lives will become increasingly busy, so time to rest and clear your minds is even more important.

For adults with busy jobs and families, rest can be hard to come by. Even early morning starts sometimes leave us little time for all that’s needed to keep our households and offices operating smoothly.

As hard as early mornings can be for adults, they can be even worse for teenagers. And yet for years, we have expected our high school students to conform to adult schedules and be ready to learn at 7:30 a.m. Research now shows that teenagers may benefit from later school start times with more sleep, increased school achievement and better health.

Saint Paul Public Schools has begun an extensive process of community engagement to discern whether changing school start times for 2015-16 is a decision we should make for our students.

As you can imagine, this is a big decision that may have unforeseen challenges. That’s why no decision will be made until feedback is gathered from representatives of all stakeholders and groups affected. Any changes would not apply until the 2015-16 school year.

There will be many ways for you and community members to provide feedback:

  • Ryan Vernosh, Policy and Planning Administrator, will start visiting schools and meeting with internal staff this week.
  • A survey will soon be available for staff, families and the community members at spps.org/starttimes. You may also review the research and information on the benefits and challenges for changing start times.
  • Public meetings and other opportunities will be held throughout the fall.

Thank you in advance for helping us make the right decision for our students.

Your very proud superintendent,

Silva Signature


 

Valeria S. Silva