School Superintendent Tommy Chang is hearing all those complaints from elementary-school parents facing start times as early as 7:15 a.m. next year - and is doing something about it. No, not changing the schedules, but:
We are working with the Boys & Girls Club of Boston, the YMCA of Greater Boston, the Boston Centers for Youth and Families, and a number of community-based organizations to provide expanded before- and after-school care that will be custom-tailored to each individual school’s needs. This additional programming will be designed to support parents and families impacted by the new start times. The district is committed to reinvesting a portion of the savings created by the new start and end times into expanding before- or after-school programming where needed.
Chang also announced a series of meetings in different neighborhoods next week for parents and administrators to discuss the new times - in addition to tomorrow's school-committee meeting, at which parents are planning a large protest. State Rep. Ed Coppinger of West Roxbury, has hired a charter bus to bring some of his constituents to the meeting, planned to start at 6 pm. in the Bolling Building in Dudley Square.
Chang added he remains committed to the change process, because it will mean later start times for high-school kids who can use a bit of extra sleep and will reduce the number of elementary-school kids who get out after 4 p.m.
Start times are being changed due to an abundance of research that shows academic outcomes improve for secondary school students when they start school later and for elementary school students when they start earlier. We believe that the new times will better and more equitably serve our students.