BOARD TO DISCUSS SCHOOL START TIMES
Later school start times are back on the agenda for the Monday’s Board of Education meeting.
The board will discuss a busing scenario that will return the schools to a three-tier bus system.
Since the board voted to pursue later start times in October 2017, it has faced intense criticism from parents and residents who have called for the project to be delayed to another year, or scrapped altogether.
Town residents opposed to the change recently filled the conference room where the board was holding its bi-weekly meeting, to demand the board do away with the change — even though the start times project was not on that evening’s agenda.
While many said they were concerned that later starts would negatively impact academic achievement, after school programs, and town businesses that rely on high school workers, the cost to taxpayers was the most commonly raised issue.
Not everyone is against the change, however.
In a joint statement, parents Colleen Broderick and Gigi Christel, who head the Ridgefield chapter of the nonprofit Start School Later, said they expect the board to implement the change next fall.
“That recommendation, that school should start no earlier than 8:30 a.m. for adolescents, is based on decades of research. Many districts across the country have followed the recommendations, and RPS is now in the scant 10 percent of earliest-starting school districts with start times as early as 7:25 a.m.,” they said.