UPDATE: An important community meeting will take place on Wednesday, December 20th from 6pm-8pm at the McKeon Post – 4 Hilltop Street. All are encourage to attend.
Last week, Boston Public Schools announced that there will be new start times for a majority of neighborhood schools for the 2018-2019 school year and boy oh boy was there push back from Boston parents.
Listing complaints from day care, to after school activities to time stuck in traffic on buses, parents are calling on school officials to not change start times. An online petition that was started after it was announced that 105 of the district’s 125 schools would see a time change. As of Monday morning, over 5000 signatures have been gathered and the number is continuing to rise by the hour.
The reason for the shifting schedules was due to research showing that high school kids benefit from a later start time (thanks to extra sleep) and elementary school kids would benefit with an earlier start time . The research was compiled feedback from community engagement. Superintendent Tommy Chang released a statement defending the decision. “Start times were changed due to an abundance of research that shows student outcomes improve when secondary school students start later and elementary school students start earlier. We believe that the new times will better serve students and be reflective of the feedback we’ve heard during our robust community engagement process, as well as reflect the new School Committee policy.”
The school committee also used an MIT research team that specializes in optimization to come up with a bus schedule. Transportation is a huge budget issue for BPS.
The most glaring contradiction is the Henderson School – which is a pre-k through high school – start time was changed from 8:30am to 7:15am. Wait, what about the high school kids?
This makes us ask, is the time change really about “tired teens” in high school or about cutting spending on transportation?
The School Committee is meeting on Wednesday at 6pm at the Boiling Building – 2300 Washington Street, Roxbury. All are encourage to attend.
The new start times are pending state approval, and they could change before the start of the school year. So we shall see. You can view the new starts times here!
Maureen Dahill is the editor of Caught in Southie and a lifelong resident of South Boston sometimes mistaken for a yuppie. Co-host of Caught Up, storyteller, lover of red wine and binge watching TV series. Mrs. Peter G. Follow her @MaureenCaught.
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