BPS says it will use some of the savings from schedule changes to pay the Y and community centers for more after-school programs

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.

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Question?

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How does Tommy Chang get to decide how the savings are spent? Can he "give" money to another department and non-profit private agencies? Isn't that why we have a mayor and city council?

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Welcome to the world of an

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Welcome to the world of an unelected school committee and a toothless city council.

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Another day in Marty Walsh's Boston, another s**t show

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We have 6 schools with 7:15 AM start time now and next year Chang proposed to have 29 with 7:15 AM start times but people aren't having it ....after-school program promises or no after-school program promises.

Parents testified for 5 hours, from 6pm to 11pm at the Bolling Bldg Wed night. The place was packed. Hundreds stood in the hallways outside the room. Rep Ed Coppinger, Councilor Matt O'Malley, Councilor Annissa Essiabi-George and Sen Mike Rush all testified in opposition of the implementation that pushed start time back to 7:15 AM, Most all of the parents were compelling in their opposition. Every time I spend an evening listening to Boston parents speak I leave impressed with their intellects and thoughtfulness.

Marty washing still pushing hard for the changes Wed morning despite the huge backlash since last Friday. Another day in Marty Walsh's Boston, another s**t show.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh reaffirmed his commitment to changing start times at a hastily arranged press conference Wednesday morning.

“We’ve had 30 years of starts and stops in Boston with making changes, and every time when something is about to move forward we seem to crumble on it,” Walsh said. “There are certain things you can’t crumble on. Start times and grade configurations are two things that will make a tremendous positive impact in our district.”

Walsh stressed that financial savings from the changes, which have not been determined yet, will be reinvested in the schools instead of going to buses.

But five city councilors sent a letter to the School Committee urging members to stop the changes for at least a year and come up with a better plan. They were Michelle Wu, the council president, and Councilors Tito Jackson, Ayanna Pressley, Matt O’Malley, and Annissa Essaibi George.

George who had pushed for later high school start times told the School Committee she was “floored and devastated” when she learned how early younger children would start.

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What's the story?

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BostonActivist:

First start times were about HS and science of sleep.

Then they were about saving indeterminate amounts of money.

And NOW Supt Chang says it's all about EQUITY? Get your story straight!

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Voting is closed. 10

Many are private care programs

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While the BCYF was mentioned, the city community centers do not hold the license for all of their day care programs. In fact BCYF has been working to get out of that business in a formal sense. They only operate formally at City Hall. Many BCYF centers have "drop in" services and not formally licensed day care operations, though they would have to carry some form of permit from the city.

At the Roslindale Community Center and at many similar centers across the city a private community-based small business is in residence and runs the child care programs on their own budget and on their own non-city payroll. The Roslindale program is operated by the Roslindale Community School Council, Inc. It employs 4 full-time staff and 2 part-time staff. It operates a pre-kindergarten for toddlers to age 5 that have yet to enter K1, and an after school day care program for grades K1 through about GR5 (age 12). While the city partners in the operation, the license is held by the private entity. In Roslindale's case it is a state-issued license from the Dept of Early Education and Care (EEC) which requires, by state statute, a certain level of training and ongoing certification classes.

The Boys & Girls Clubs operate in a similar manner where they are positioned, and they are also not a city organization but a private entity.

EEC is currently reviewing a number of city and school-based programs now to determine if they will be required to conform to state regulations.

If the commissioner is seeking to partner with such entities, it will be a welcome dialogue. It may require some of the current programs to make modifications. Some may not be able to due to location and facility limitations, but at least the dialogue could happen. The Roslindale facility does not have an early morning program but this could trigger one. So far, the Commissioner has not contacted us.

Disclosure: I serve on the board of directors of the day care service at Roslindale and am knowledgeable on these matters.

So any plan to utilize funds would be in contracting with the private entities to offset or fully fund coverage for families.

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All fine

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But it doesn't answer the question as to why the head of BPS has discretion over funds to privately contract for day care. For that matter, does any city department have that authority? Other than some limited external funds budgets, why is the city spending money on day care out of the school budget?

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So

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What do your kids do after school?

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Okay

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And here I thought you wanted to have extended school days with people not qualified to be teachers.

This is what you wanted, but they are only part of the day with people not qualified to be teachers, not the full day. STFU already.

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Lovely

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I said that? When?

You'll also note that I'm on record here saying spending a bit more for extended school hours was worth it. Paying for someone's babysitters with money thst should be either bebinvested in the school system or for other more broadly beneficial city services, not so much.

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Here's an idea

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Take the savings and lower our real estate taxes for those who do not have kids in the BPS school system. God knows our taxes are too high.

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Why stop there?

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I've never been mugged, so why should I pay taxes for the police? My house has never caught fire, so I resent playing taxes for a fire department. And I never drive out in the Berkshires, so why should I pay gas taxes that go to roads there.

So, you with me on the next flight to Mogadishu?

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How about they decide when

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How about they decide when school SHOULD start, then make the buses deliver accordingly. No this is not a pipe dream. BPS budget is $1B. Stop letting bus schedules dictate education policy. To suggest, well, these are the logistical realities and to reuse the buses, we need to do to get kindergartners on the bus in the dark is ridiculous.

Pay for more buses if that is what’s needed to have a sane schedule, and let people who want to, walk to school.

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Voting is closed. 30

You volunteering to drive?

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No?

Maybe you should do some reading then. They are saving money on buses by jiggering the start times.

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In other words

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the whole bit about changing start times because "research" claimed it would be better for students was just another farce foisted on us by the "experts" at BPS.

Why am I not surprised.

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Just because you put the word

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Just because you put the word research in quotes, doesn't mean that it's not true. There is a large body of good scientific research that supports the move to later start times for teenagers. Try to find our more.

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I put "research" in quotes because it's pretty obvious that BPS

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hasn't done any objective studies to balance the ALLEGED benefits of allowing teens to sleep in later - which apparently has NEVER been a major problem in society for decades before now - against the REAL problems and issues that changing start times will create for everyone, even if they are not a BPS student or parent. Not to mention that BPS apparently doesn't have a plan in place to monitor performance of these students to see if those benefits of what is a very disruptive plan to totally change schedule times actually occur.

Also, when the BPS's immediate response to parents and others who raise these very LEGITIMATE concerns and issues is "Well, it'll save us money, and we'll give some of that money to PRIVATE after-school programs that may or may not benefit your kids.", forgive me if I'm skeptical of the necessity of the whole concept of revised schedule times that is clearly being force fed by some people who believe that "Oh, it worked in Podunk, it will clearly work here as well." Scientific research is too often mistaken to be a "one size fits all" solution, where it is never a magic bullet that immediately solves all woes. And I can for one can think of numerous things in this world that need solving before addressing the "problem" of letting Johnny sleep in an extra hour.

The need to implement this whole concept in Boston needs a serious rethink, and not the current whitewash that BPS is giving both the parents and the taxpayers.

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Benefits are not alleged

They have been demonstrated time and again in many urban districts in the last 20 years.

Of course the opinion of a person who has never raised children and hates teenagers is more rigorous than decades of research and actual implementation with evaluation protocols.

Just get off your own lawn, pops.

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Sorry Swirly

Usually I agree with you but not this time. While the effort to move high school times is laudable, there is not decades worth of urban districts starting elementary schools at 7:15AM. There is not one city school district the same size or bigger than Boston that starts school at 7:15AM for elementary and middle school kids.

Even the researchers that BPS used as their basis to save money errr... "adjust bell times" have come out and said that these times are too early for elementary & middle school kids.

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I think you're reading her wrong

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She's arguing that there has been a ton of research and numerous examples that show that high school students benefit from a later starting time, not that elementary school students benefit from an earlier start time.

Honestly, the idea that grade school kids in Boston will be starting at about 7 AM makes me glad we are spending the coin we are sending our kid to Catholic school (aside from of course wanting him to get a faith based education.) The BPS is taking a step back by putting families in the situation of having to get to school around the time the sun rises.

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Nope. I would prefer to walk my child,

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But we can’t get into the school across the street.

I have read the info. I don’t buy it. For high school yes, I get the research. For smaller kids, nope. Research doesn’t support the assertions.

No way I am having a small child sent across the city unsupervised in a bus.

No way I would have a small child have to start school at 7:15, only to be cared for by strangers for up to 5 hours til child’s working parents can get home.

No way I would cause small child to have a window of less than an hour of waking time available in the evening - if you send them to bed in time to meet the early wake up time needed to get to school - to spend with family and parents, much less eat and bathe.

This madness is driving away families who are really trying to commit to BPS but are not going to sacrifice kids. Rich families go private. Middle income families face the question of leaving the city. Low income families would be left with few choices.

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Voting is closed. 12

Eliminate buses

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How about we eliminate buses entirely? Kids go to schools they can get to without buses, or, if they want to go to a school way far away from where they live they take the T. Like I did in the early 70s at age 12 when I decided to go to Boston Latin. After a few years of that I decided I didn't like getting up so early and taking the T all the way across the city, nor did I like studying Latin (among other things), so I transferred to a school closer to me. But, hey, I gave it a shot and it was a valuable learning experience. Not BLS, the commute. I can still get anywhere at all in the city via T thanks to that early experience. Maybe the buses were needed in desegregation days, but not now.

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You know, most kids still get to Latin via the T

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Don't worry: BLS is still tough in more ways than just the curriculum. BPS makes an exception for some kids in Charlestown with no easy way to get to BLS (and BLA, I assume) and provides yellow buses for them.

But BPS can't just eliminate buses, anyway, even if they could return to neighborhood schools (try doing that in, oh, West Roxbury, where there just aren't enough seats) - they're required by law to provide bus service for charter schools, which are in turn required by law to be open to all Boston residents (subject to a lottery). There are a lot of special-needs kids who need transporting. And one of the advantages of letting kids go to schools that aren't a couple blocks from their house is that different schools have different programs and strengths. It's hard to replicate all programs all over when so many of Boston's elementary schools are in really small buildings.

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I concur

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This idea to change tbe times on these parents is ridiculous and if you are giving money to them then he has to make sure all of these parents and their children are accommodated. How does he suppose parents with limited means are to get their little babies to and fro? This is a selfish idea based on foolish beliefs that teenagers need to have more sleep time? But yet, punish the parents with little children who have to now scrabble and try to get a spot at a facility they may or may not have access to. Selfish and stupid.

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"This is a selfish idea based

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"This is a selfish idea based on foolish beliefs that teenagers need to have more sleep time?"

It's not a foolish idea. There is a large body of evidence supporting the move for later school times for adolescents. I suggest you read which details the extensive neurological research behind this national movement.

Regardless of whether you like the start times for elementary school children, it's impossible to dismiss the body of scientific evidence as "foolish".

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For what it's worth

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I used to work for a branch of the YMCA of Greater Boston, and the school they were affiliated with started around 9 am. They provided before-school care in the YMCA branch starting at 7, walked the kids over to the school, and then picked the kids up for aftercare at 3:45 dismissal until 6 pm.

Shifting the school times would actually benefit a program like this, because they can eliminate before-care and then schedule their staff for a single shift in the afternoon, 1 pm - 6 pm rather than having an AM staff and a PM staff or having staff who work split shifts. It does mean they have to give and cover meal breaks during the aftercare day, since the longer shift will necessitate a meal break by law.

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This is absolutely bogus!

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This is absolutely bogus!
So the solution is send your kids to an after school program! How can public school money be siphoned to private Christian organizations? When BPS puts drug dealers, credit card thiefs (Madison park h.s) and doesn't properly vet its own staff of teachers admins etc - now they want to add another layer of unaccountability to the equation. Tommy Chang has no balls and should get out because he is not working in the best interest of the children and parents in the school system.
Boston spends too much money on busing - how about letting parents walk their kids to their neighborhood schools. This is why parents flee the system.

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