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Last week, a survey was sent out to parents of Biltmore Preparatory Academy concerning a change in start and dismissal times for the Creighton School District. As a parent of a second grader at BPA, I am startled and concerned the school district is considering creating earlier start times for our children. I was further astounded when I received the response – parents should reach out to the Director of Transportation with feedback, concerns, and potential solutions to this matter. I’m sure the Director of Transportation is good at his job (managing and maintaining transportation issues), but his responsibilities lie in finding cost savings to the district, not in in the health and well-being of our children.

Evidently, budgetary concerns are the driving force behind changing the bus schedule and starting school earlier, however, priority should be based upon what is best for our children. Waking our children up earlier is not what is best for them. Having school start at 7:00 AM or 7:20 AM is not what is best for them. Prioritizing cost savings and bus schedules is not what is best for them. And did you know, there are only NINE students who take the bus to BPA. You heard me, NINE. Yet this change in start time would affect the entire school and the entire district.

Considerable research confirms current school start times are inconsistent with the sleep needs of children and can seriously undermine school performance as well as our children's health and welfare. Why are we allowing politics, money, and other logistical issues dictate what time our school starts?

I’ve made it clear to the board members, the superintendent, and the principal - if school start times change to 7:20 AM or earlier I will remove my daughter from BPA. Not only will we be changing schools, but we will change districts as well.  I know I am not alone, and I know that losing the per-pupil funding for my daughter, our annual tax donation, and our ongoing fundraising support will not help Creighton's budgetary challenges.

If you believe an earlier start time is detrimental to your child, please sign and share this petition with other parents who have children in the Creighton School District. I implore you to attend the next school board meeting on Tuesday, March 20th, at 6:00pm at 2015 N. 36th St. in Phoenix to speak up on this matter and unite with us. Please email the principal, transportation director, superintendent, and the school board members.  Their email addresses are:

Principal DeMar:
Director of Transportation, Scott Wells:
Superintendent Dr. Lewis:

Creighton Governing Board members:
Donna Young:
Jeanne Casteen:
Amy McSheffrey
Annette Sexton Ruiz:
Carl Zargoza: czaragoza@creightonschoolsorg 

Lastly, remember board members are elected officials – speak with your vote.

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