Long-Range Planning Committee

Committee Charge

The Littleton Public Schools Long-Range Planning Committee will operate under the following charge:

To review the district physical plant, program capacity, and major capital equipment requirements, and determine what improvements to efficiency and sustainability and infrastructure needs may be required during the next five to ten years.”

Members
The committee is comprised of 16 voting members representing the following interest groups:

  • District Accountability Committee
  • Financial Accountability Committee
  • Citizens' Bond Oversight Committee
  • Educational Technology Advisory Committee
  • Special Services Advisory Committee
  • PTO Presidents Council
  • LPS charter schools
  • Parents
  • Community members
  • Senior community members
  • South Suburban Parks and Recreation District
  • YMCA of Littleton
  • Optimists' Club

Background
In the spring of 2017, LPS began to explore how to streamline school start and end times to better meet the needs of teenagers and to pave the way for improved and more efficient transportation services in the future. Research tells us that a later school start time positively impacts alertness, mental health, wellness and behavior in high school and middle school students, which means students are better prepared to learn.

Community conversations about the possibility of changing school start times began last spring through 22 staff and 30 parent/community meetings throughout the school district. In addition, nearly 6,000 parents, staff and secondary students participated in a survey about potential changes to school start times. The LPS Board of Education asked the Long-Range Planning Committee to further study the issue and provide the Board with recommendations in November 2017.

Summary of Survey Results
In February 2017, nearly 6,000 parents, staff members and middle/high school students participated in a survey about potential changes to school start times. The survey asked participants to react to one specific option. 

Parents and staff members who participated in the survey indicated:

  • 74% approve of an 8:30 a.m. school start time and a 3:30 p.m. dismissal time for high schools
  • 65% approve of a 9 a.m. school start time and a 4 p.m. dismissal time for middle schools
  • 68% approve of an 8 a.m. school start time and a 2:45 p.m. dismissal time for elementary schools
  • 91% of high school survey participants and 83% of middle school participants said they would use the extra time in the morning to sleep

2017-2018 Meeting Dates

April 5, 2017 Agenda / Minutes
May 17, 2017 Agenda / Minutes
June 7, 2017 AgendaMinutes
June 14, 2017 Agenda / Minutes
August 14, 2017 Agenda / Minutes
September 11, 2017 Agenda / Minutes
September 18, 2017 Agenda / Minutes
October 2, 2017 Agenda / Minutes
October 16, 2017 Agenda / Minutes
November 6, 2017 Agenda / Minutes
December 4, 2017 Agenda / Minutes
December 18, 2017 Agenda / Minutes
January 22, 2018 Agenda / Minutes
February 5, 2018 Agenda / Minutes
February 26, 2018 Agenda / Minutes
March 5, 2018 Agenda / Minutes
March 19, 2018 Agenda / Minutes
April 2, 2018 Agenda / Minutes
April 16, 2018 Agenda / Minutes
May 7, 2018 Agenda / Minutes
May 21, 2018 Agenda / Minutes
June 4, 2018 Agenda / Minutes
June 18, 2018 Agenda / Minutes

Timeline

Spring 2017

  • Superintendent Brian Ewert presented options for possible start time changes at more than 50 staff and community meetings.
  • Staff, parents and middle and high school students were invited to take a survey regarding possible start time changes.
  • Long-Range Planning Committee (LRPC) was given a charge by the Board to review start times and research.

June 2017

  • LRPC examined synopses of studies by Kyla L. Wahlstrom, Ph.D. (University of Minnesota) and Lisa J. Meltzer, Ph.D. (National Jewish Health).
  • LPS Transportation presented viable scenarios to LRPC.
  • Dr. Scott Siegfried (Cherry Creek School District) presented Cherry Creek’s research and process surrounding their change to start times to LRPC.

August 2017

  • Lisa J. Meltzer, Ph.D. (National Jewish Health) presents her research in person to LRPC.
  • LRPC discuss viable scenarios put forth by Transportation and chose two based on research presented to the committee.

September 2017

  • LRPC conducts community outreach meetings.
  • Lisa J. Meltzer, Ph.D. (National Jewish Health) presents her research in person to Board of Education

October 2017

  • LRPC will review and discuss community feedback.

November 2017

  • LRPC will make a recommendation to the Board of Education.

Researchers Say:

“Advances in understanding sleep and circadian regulation, and the negative consequences of missing two to three hours of sleep a day to meet the demands of education time, give us a new understanding of adolescent behavior. We now know it is their biological clocks, not laziness, that keeps them in bed in the morning and up late at night. Fortunately, the problems of short sleep duration and sleep deprivation caused by education time is one that can be solved by synchronizing adolescent education time to adolescent biology.”

Paul Kelley
"Synchronizing education to adolescent biology: ‘let teens sleep, start school later’"
Learning, Media and Technology, Volume 40, 2015 - Issue 2: Neuroscience and Education


“While long seen as a cultural and psychosocial preference, later bedtimes among adolescents are now understood to be a biological response to puberty, the onset of which results in a two-hour sleep-wake phase delay without lessening total sleep requirements. Therefore, adolescents have a biological need to be able to sleep later in the morning.”

"School Start Times: Review of Recent Literature"
Hanover Research

 

 

 

 

LRPC Open Houses

As part of the process exploring the possibility of changing school start times, the LRPC will host four informational open houses in September:

Wednesday, September 13
4:30–6:30 p.m.
Euclid Middle School

Monday, September 25
5:00–7:00 p.m.
Goddard Middle School

Wednesday, September 27
6:00–8:00 p.m.
Newton Middle School

Friday, September 29
5:00–7:00 p.m.
Powell Middle School

Attendees can drop in at any time during the two-hour open house to visit with representatives of the LRPC and LPS personnel to learn more about:

  • Options for possible changes to school start times
  • Research behind the need for changing school start times
  • Answers to some of the most frequently asked questions

The LRPC is comprised of 14 community members and two LPS administrators. Spanish interpreters will be available.

Open House Hand Out


In addition, sleep expert Lisa J. Meltzer, PhD, presented to the LPS Board of Education in a workshop on Thursday, September 17, 2017. She presented research findings that show a later school start time positively impacts teenagers’ alertness, mental health, wellness, and behavior in high school and middle school, which means students are better prepared to learn. Dr. Meltzer is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at National Jewish Health. Here is a copy of Dr. Meltzer's presentation from the workshop.