Letter to SPS Fall 2022 Bell Times

Dear Ms. Davies,

Following last week’s release of the SPS proposal to alter the district’s school schedule, the Bryant PTSA created and sent a survey to understand the needs of families and provide critical family engagement regarding the announcement of the change in school bell times.

In less than 72 hours, 63% of Bryant families responded to the survey, and they shared with us what we believe to be universally true for elementary families across the district. The overwhelming majority of responses indicated that the SPS proposed changing school start times will be extremely difficult for families. 

  • 69% of respondents stated they would need before school care

  • 51% of respondents would need after school care

  • Yet, 67.9% of respondents do not know what child care options are available to them.

  • 63% of respondents stated that the change in bell times would negatively impact their livelihoods. The 9:30 AM time seems especially hard because it affects most morning and afternoon work schedules.

The qualitative data collected in this survey pointed to several major themes:

  • There will be a significant, different, and relatively immediate need for childcare coverage. Currently, in the Bryant Community, the need for childcare is far greater than the options available, and the proposed bell times would widen this gap both at Bryant and city-wide. 

  • Livelihood impact – an example from one parent: “With older siblings in earlier start times in middle school, I will have to go part-time to provide morning child care for my elementary student. A 9:30 start is a huge disruption for working parents, especially those who have to be in person.”

  • Student impacts – mental health, afterschool activities, playtime, special needs for special education, etc. 

We’ve attached the full report to this email if you want to look it over.  

Due to all these hardships, we ask that you reconsider placing any elementary schools in the 9:30 AM tier.  This request is in alignment with Bryant’s building administration’s request.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

Bryant PTSA