Bell Times: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

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Bell Times: FAQs


What are the new bell times planned for the 2021-22 school year?

Bell times are listed by school at the end of a news article on this school district website.


When will the new bell times take effect?

Plans are to implement the new school start and end times when school opens in September, 2021.


Why are the bell times changing?

The bell time changes are the culmination of more than a two-year planning process that started with the formation in March 2019 of a Citizens Advisory Committee on School Year Calendar/School Start Times. The Committee engaged students, staff, families and the community during its research, meetings, surveys and school board presentations. Of 4,632 overall survey respondents, 64% indicated it is important to move start times later for middle and high school students. View a webpage summarizing the Committee's work


When will we know the new bus pick-up and drop-off times?

The new bus routes and times will be available in August. This information will be posted on the website and shared with families by email.


Having later start and end times for middle and high school students, and earlier start and end times for elementary schools, means my older student will no longer be home to care for our younger student after school. Have you considered and/or addressed this?
Yes. We have shared the new bell times with childcare partners in the community and are discussing with them about how to address what may be an increased need for after-school childcare services. In fall 2021, the Y-Care program anticipates opening for child care in both the morning before school, and the afternoon after school, and accommodating these new bell times. The district is also exploring offering more after-school enrichment opportunities for elementary students.


Will students still be able to attend classes at New Market Skills Center?
Yes, OSD staff members have been having conversations with New Market Skills Center in Tumwater to determine the best way for students to continue to access classes there. Based on those discussions, students will have the option to:
  • Enroll in up to three New Market Skills Center classes during the morning session from 7:50-10:20 a.m. and be back at their home school in time for their third-period class. This would allow a student to take up to 7 credits.
  • Attend their home school for first- and second-period classes, then attend New Market during class periods three, four and five (New Market afternoon session is from 11:10 a.m. - 1:40 p.m.), then return to their home school for sixth period for a total of 6 credits.
  • Transportation details are being worked out, and this page will be updated once that information is available.


What about students who are involved in after-school extracurricular activities? How much class time will they miss?
While there is still work being done in this area, it is estimated that students who choose to participate in after-school OSD extracurricular activities, such as athletics, may miss one or two class periods on dates when there are activities taking place outside of our district to allow time for transport to the offsite venue like away games. Activities held on our campuses, such as athletic games on our fields or courts, will be scheduled later starting in fall 2021 to allow sufficient time for students to attend their classes and participate in after-school activities.

Will students involved in athletics have time to warm up/practice before a meet?
Yes. OSD coaches will ensure that student athletes stretch and do other pre-practice or pre-game/activity warm-ups.

What about pedestrian or bicycle safety for elementary students who will start school earlier than in the past and will walk/bike to school or the bus stop when it is dark?
Schools will reinforce pedestrian and bike safety, which includes dressing appropriately for the weather, walking with a buddy, and using reflector material on clothing and/or bikes when it is dark. Parents who are able to do so are also welcome to drive their students to school.