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, enrollment boundaries, transportation routing, and major capital equipment requirements, and determine what improvements to efficiency, 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.

Boundary Study

The committee has been meeting since the fall of 2018 to study school boundaries to better balance enrollment, provide boundaries for the new elementary schools to be built for the Ames neighborhood and the combined Highland and Franklin neighborhoods, and to address the growing transportation challenges resulting from increased traffic in the south metro area -- all in an effort to improve boundaries to best serve students and provide them with the best educational experience possible.

During more than 20 hours of meetings, the LRPC has considered 14 different elementary school boundary scenarios, six different middle school boundary scenarios, and four different high school boundary scenarios. As part of this process, the LRPC:

  • Looked for logic and efficiency as new boundaries were considered.
  • Strived to keep neighborhoods together, recognizing that waterways and other obstacles make transportation more difficult.
  • Found boundary solutions for the new neighborhood school on the Ames campus. 
  • Found boundary solutions for the new neighborhood school on the current Franklin campus.
  • Strived to avoid wherever possible having to cross major north/south arterial roads, busing students past one school to attend another, and creating a smaller-than-optimal schools.
  • Considered current feeder patterns (elementary to middle to high).
  • Considered school size and capacity, with and without out-of-district students.
  • Considered socio-economic balance.
  • Looked toward the future: what building replacements are happening with the current bond, and what buildings might be replaced in future bonds? How will boundaries be impacted?

Four stakeholder open houses were scheduled in January and February 2020, where attendees could drop in any time during a two-hour open house to learn about each scenario, ask questions of LRPC members, give feedback and take an exit survey, which provided another opportunity for feedback.

All four open houses provided attendees with the same opportunities to interact with members of the Long-Range Planning Committee, learn about the boundary options, ask questions, and provide feedback. All returned surveys were tabulated verbatim in a spreadsheet for LRPC members to review as they draft their final recommendations to the Board of Education, to be presented later this spring. Additionally, feedback received via emails, phone calls, and letters was also recorded for the committee's review.

What’s next?
The LRPC will provide an update to the Board of Education later this spring. The Board is tentatively scheduled to make decisions about the boundaries by the fall of 2020, and approved new boundaries would likely take effect in the fall of 2021. 

Additional information about the Districtwide Boundary Study is available on the LPS district website at Boundary Study.

Summary of February 2017 Start Time 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

 

Summary of October 2017 Start Time Survey Results
In October 2017, LPS employees and parents were invited to participate in another survey regarding possible changes to school start times.  6,305 parents and employees responded.  It was a self-selected survey with a response rate of 36%. Participants were asked to indicate preferences of a possible change to school start times among three choices:  Option 1, Option 2, and No Change (see the chart below.) Participants were asked their first choice and their second choice.

Survey results indicate:

  • More than 66% of all parents prefer a change to school start times. They are fairly evenly split between Option 1 and Option 2 as their first choice. This also holds true among individual parent groups.
  • 66% of preschool and elementary school parents want change as a first choice.
  • 62% of middle school parents want change as a first choice.
  • 65% of high school parents want change as a first choice.
  • 55% of all LPS employee respondents prefer change (or have no preference) and are evenly split between Option 1 and option 2 as their first choice.
  • Nearly 74% of preschool and elementary school employees want change as a first choice.
  • 60% of middle school employees prefer No Change as their first choice.
  • 60% of high school employees prefer No Change as their first choice.

October 2017 survey results were presented to the Long-Range Planning Committee in early November, 2017. View the presentation.

Recommending a Bond Election

The Long-Range Planning Committee recommended in August 2018 that the Board of Education put a bond question on the November 2018 ballot. View the committee's report to the Board.

2019–2020 Meeting Dates

Meetings are held from 4:30–6:30 p.m. at the Education Services Center.

Aug. 19, 2019 Agenda / Minutes
Sept. 30, 2019 Agenda / Minutes
Oct. 28, 2019 Agenda / Minutes
Nov. 11, 2019 Agenda / Minutes
Dec. 9, 2019 Agenda / Minutes
Jan. 13, 2020 Agenda / Minutes
Feb. 24, 2020 Agenda / Minutes
Mar. 9, 2020 Agenda / Minutes
Mar. 30, 2020 CANCELLED
Apr. 10, 2020 ONLINE MEETING
Agenda / Minutes
Apr. 16, 2020 ONLINE MEETING
Agenda / Minutes
Apr. 30, 2020 ONLINE MEETING
Agenda / Minutes
May 18, 2020 ONLINE MEETING
Agenda / Minutes

2018–2019 Meeting Dates

July 16, 2018 Site Visits
July 30, 2018 Agenda / Minutes
October 22, 2018 Agenda / Minutes
November 12, 2018 Social Event
January 28, 2019 Agenda / Minutes
February 4, 2019 Agenda / Minutes
March 4, 2019 Agenda / Minutes
April 2, 2019 Agenda / Minutes
April 22, 2019 Agenda / Minutes
May 6, 2019 Agenda / Minutes

 

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 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 1, 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) presented her research in person to LRPC.
  • LRPC discussed viable scenarios put forth by Transportation and chose two based on research presented to the committee.

September 2017

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

October 2017

  • LPS employees and parents were invited to participate in a survey regarding possible changes to school start times
  • LRPC reviewed and discussed community feedback.

November 2017

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

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