Family Engagement Survey - February 25 to March 24, 2020 - Learn More


Facilitator Dick Withycombe welcomed committee members and asked them to review the minutes of their April 1 meeting, which they adopted as submitted.

Eva Collins, Deputy Superintendent of the Bellevue School District, distributed copies of the chart “Average start time for public high schools and percentage distribution of start times in public high schools, by selected school characteristics,” excerpted from a report by the National Center for Educational Statistics (2011-12).


Bellevue Community Forums

Eva thanked everyone who helped with the community forums on April 15, at Interlake High School, and April 16, at Newport High School. She said the 30 participants appeared to be “overwhelmingly in favor of some change.” Eva reviewed a handout summarizing the forum responses. She said she expected to see more diversity of opinion in the community survey results.

Mercer Island Community Forum

Transportation Director Todd Kelsay reported that Mercer Island will conduct a community forum on May 7, adapting the materials Bellevue developed.

Bellevue Transportation Department

District Director of Athletics and Activities Jeff Lowell met with the director of transportation about the feasibility and cost implications of changing the district’s Metro schedule. Metro could accommodate an 8:30 a.m. start, however the closer it gets to the peak rush hour the more difficult it may be. Students may have trouble getting on buses, so the district may need to purchase additional routes. Each route costs approximately $50,000, and the district would probably need two more.

There may also be additional costs the district doesn’t now incur, if it isn’t possible to piggyback on existing routes (e.g., driver miles on an unknown number of routes each year). There would be four routes in the morning (every 30 minutes beginning at 6:00 a.m.), so students would have more choices; but because they would be earlier, it would offset the benefit of a later start.


The committee reviewed the draft community survey prepared by Bellevue Director of Research and Accountability Naomi Calvo, based on her conversation with the committee on April 1. Eva will communicate the committee’s changes to Naomi.

The committee agreed that:

  • Eva will review and approve the revised community survey;
  • Naomi will create a student version of the survey;
  • the survey should be available both online (Survey Monkey) and on paper; and
  • the survey should go out as soon as possible.

Bellevue will launch its survey the first week in May. Todd will adapt the Bellevue survey for review by other Mercer Island committee members, and then by Mercer Island Superintendent Gary Plano. The Mercer Island survey will be sent after their community forum.

Bellevue will include Bellevue Big Picture and the International School, add links to additional information/FAQs, and provide access to language lines, as well as some translations.


The committee agreed to cancel their May 6 meeting. They will meet June 3 (2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.) to review the survey results and discuss the preparation of the reports to the two school boards. The target for presenting those board reports is June 23.