Summit Rainier Petition to Reinstate Student Break
In July, Summit Public Schools introduced a new schedule which all of their 14 schools across California and Washington would be required to follow. These new, centrally-mandated schedules replaced schedules which each Summit Public School site was previously able to make individual decisions based on their unique student and community needs, in addition to facility and location limitations. The new schedules were also implemented with very minimal student/parent/teacher/site feedback.

Changes for all sites included eliminating a morning break for students called “Brunch” when breakfast was served and instead creating “Breakfast” before school, with the reasoning that all students should have access to a healthy breakfast before the school day starts. This also means that the only break all Summit students now have every day is a 30 min lunch period. Across many sites the new schedule also meant for a later lunch time of 12:30-1:00.

At Summit Rainier in San Jose, these changes had a series of consequences. Apart from taking away the students’ and teachers’ mid-morning break, students now also have to wait an hour longer to eat lunch. In addition, Summit Rainier teachers and students were told that because our later lunch time now coincided with the lunchtime of Mount Pleasant (our home campus school), we were no longer able to use their blacktop which we have always shared as part of our (facilities use agreement) with East Side Union High School District. This means that our students who have always enjoyed playing basketball, volleyball, soccer, or simply using the blacktop to stretch their legs during their 30 min lunch can no longer do so, and are confined to our small campus with very limited outdoor space.

The schedule also means that students have on average about 2-3 hours less of individual work time (PLT/SDL) during the week, a change felt dramatically by juniors and seniors who have a greater workload due to AP classes and preparations for college.

We believe that the current schedule as it stands is not student-centered and does not respond to our students’ needs. Rainier teachers have been engaging with Summit using their mandated “decision grid” process to propose changes to make the schedule more responsive to these needs and more sustainable, but have been met with restrictions that prevent us from either adding a morning break to the schedule, and/or getting access to the blacktop back for our students to use.

We are asking Summit to immediately adjust our current schedule to reinstate our morning Brunch in order to make our schedule more accommodating to student needs.
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