Thursday, March 08, 2007

School Committee approves later start time for 10 high schools


The school day will begin a little later beginning next year in ten Boston public high schools. Last night, the Boston School Committee approved a proposal from Superintendent Contompasis to shift start times in about half of the schools that now open at 7:20 a.m. The recommendation emerged as a result of studies by the district's REACT group (staffed by the Boston Plan for Excellence) and the Boston Student Advisory Council, who suggested that the early start times may contribute to student tardiness and absenteeism in the citywide high schools, a claim supported by national research. In order to accommodate the later start times, the School Committee modified the district's transportation policy, prioritizing routes to Boston Public Schools before scheduling trips to private, parochial and charter schools. While all students who live in Boston are still eligible for free BPS transportation, non-BPS schools may have to adjust their school hours in order to align with the district's bus schedules.

11 comments:

Cynthia Walker-Wiggins said...

Not quite sure if that is the correct solution; So because the children are not striving to get to school on time we should accommodate them and start school later. What type of lifeskill is that teaching them. They are in high school and in about 3-4 years will be out on their own. Show me a job that will consider changing their companies work schedule in order to accommodate the tardy worker.
I would better understand it if it were for elementary students, but this makes no sense to me at all. School starts, when school starts! Those that want to become something, or get somewhere in life will show up on time and those who don't well let's just say that it gives us a little peek into their future aspirations.

Lorena said...

There's no need to change the school start times. It won't change the fact that many students are late, they'll most likely sleep in anyway. Students have to learn responsibility and show up to school on time. Timeliness is a very important quality, especially as students get older and start new jobs.
Also, school ending 30 mins later will cut back time for after school activities. Half an hour may not seem like much, but in the winter it's beneficial to end school activities asap.
A later start time will not help with tardiness and it is likely that students will stay up later. It doesn't seem like a solution to any problem.

Cindy said...

Half an hour probably won't make a difference at all. I agree that changing time would not help students arrive to school on time. Those that are late will probably always be late. They need to find a solution for themselves.
The only thing that may be good about this is that we'll get a little more sleep and we might be able to focus in earlier periods, but then again half an hour difference isn't much.

Cindy said...

Half an hour probably won't make a difference at all. I agree that changing time would not help students arrive to school on time. Those that are late will probably always be late. They need to find a solution for themselves.
The only thing that may be good about this is that we'll get a little more sleep and we might be able to focus in earlier periods, but then again half an hour difference isn't much.



-Cynthia Kozikowski

Katheline said...

I disagree with the later start times for schools. Although we will be getting more sleep in the morning we will be getting out of school later. Overall I believe that later school times wont do anything to improve our schools we should just stick to our regular start time 7:20.

Katheline said...

I dont agree with the time change. I like the start time of school just the way it is. A later start time isnt going to really help us so there really isnt a point in changing it.

Cassandra said...

I think that the later start times will not help improve anything because the extra sleep will only make students more tired and less willing to get up in the morning.
besides getting to school later means coming out later which means that student who have extracurricular activities will get out later and that means that there is a bigger possibility of danger on the streets at night.

POPS said...

I guess I'll have to be the bad guy here, but I think 8am is an optimal time to start the school day. As a matter of fact, I think Boston students get out of school too early as well. And 8am to 3pm day sounds about right to me.

Larusane said...

To me, this small change isn't so much a shameful appeasement to students as a logical change. Who wouldn't prefer the extra twenty minutes of sleep? I'm sure teachers and admins wouldn't mind it, either. What's the point of this inconvenience for everyone?

If the answer to that question is, "to get students home before it gets dark and dangerous," then, well, that's something. But I question the wisdom of staying the course just for the sake of staying the course.

Also, I'm sure offices DO consider the needs of employees when making start times, otherwise lots more "9-to-5's" would start at 6:30 or 7, at the very least to avoid rush-hour traffic.

-a BPS student

Anonymous said...

have any of you ever considered the biological clocks of teens? technically melatonin(our body's sleep chemical secreted by the brain) is still being released up to around 8 a.m. Over 24% of teens surveyed have either fallen asleep on their way to school driving or in their first couple classes. One half of an hour is easy to make up during the school day. Why not take a minute away from passing time or a minute away from classes that kids usually spend packing up their things anyway? It's proven that students without the proper amount of sleep have less self esteem, lower grades, higher depression rates, and worse social tendencies, and this isnt even the half of it. All you can think about it that they will be changing start times because students are tardy? Research a little bit and find out how well this strategy has worked across the country! If attendance goes up, it will be a success in more ways than one.

Chris Horan said...

The research about student performance relative to sleep was an important factor in this policy decision. Tardiness prevention was one of the driving forces, but certainly the need for teens to get more sleep was a significant consideration as well. Thanks for your comment.