As we approach the winter break, I wanted to take a moment to thank you for your support of our students and schools. Together we accomplished much in 2012, and despite difficult challenges, we have upheld our vital mission of supporting the personal and intellectual success of every student, every day.
One reason that the Long Beach Unified School District stands out nationally, and even internationally, for its excellence among public school systems is that we firmly believe in continuous improvement. If there’s a better way, we’re interested.
In our ongoing efforts to make the wisest use of our limited resources, we are examining the efficiency of our two-bell schedule and how we transport children in grades K-12. Proposed bell schedule changes will affect many schools in grades K-12. As part of these changes, our staff has proposed starting our high school day an hour later next school year. High schools here currently start their day between 7:45 and 8 a.m., so our proposal is to start at 8:45 to 9 a .m. We first proposed this idea to our school board at a public meeting in November, in part because of convincing research that shows teens perform better academically when they start school later. Considering that we’ve cut non-mandated transportation, a later start time also would allow additional time for students to get to school.
We plan to discuss this proposal with the Board of Education again on Jan. 29 for informational purposes (not for board action), and we anticipate a decision by the board in February. In the meantime, we welcome your thoughts via a quick, online survey.
I hope you’ll consider giving us your valued input by Jan. 11 on this proposal. Thank you again for your support, and warmest wishes for the holiday season and the new year.
Christopher J. Steinhauser
Superintendent of Schools