School Board passes time changes

New times to go into effect during 2020-2021 school year


Noah Orloff

Parent Sarah Mutchler speaks at the School Board meeting March 25 during open forum. Mutchler said before a final vote, the questions from the community should be answered.

Gabriel Kaplan and Noah Orloff

To give families time to prepare for the time changes, School Board vice chair Mary Tomback said at the School Board meeting April 8 the school district will wait an additional year before implementing the new times.

“We are recommending a change for very good reasons, but we have to delay that change. I’m disappointed that we have to do that, but I really do believe that in the interest of after-school childcare, elementary activities, middle school activities and athletics, it is the right thing to do,” Tomback said. “We want to do it in the best way and the most robust way possible and that unfortunately just takes time.”

School Board chair Nancy Gores said although she believes the district could adjust to the new times sooner, she recognizes the need for further discussion regarding the plan’s details.

“What trumped (the implementation decision) for me was the sense that we can do it better and do it right if we give folks a year to get it right and meet the safety concerns of after-school childcare as well as the other athletic concerns,” Gores said. “The childcare  — because it requires some job restructuring and some implications for our parent families — and after-school activities present real opportunities (for improvement) if we had a little bit more time.”

According to freshman Hailey Rue, she doesn’t believe the time changes are necessary, but she supports changing the middle school’s time.

“It’s unnecessary that they are changing start times. It was fine before,” Rue said. “(However), if it’s going to be later for the middle schoolers, I think that’s good because they get overwhelmed. I remember being in eighth grade and being like ‘this is crazy,’ and sleep is also good.”

Moving the middle school’s start time could pose issues to sports players and their teams, according to sophomore Sophie Yakes.

“It’s crazy that they are switching the middle school times by so much,” Yakes said. “I know that a lot of middle schoolers participate in high school sports, and I think there will be problems that arise.”

According to Gores, the vote to change start and end times to the triangle option was 7-0. Additionally, the School Board voted 6-1 on if the change should begin in the 2020-2021 school year.

Yakes said she supports the school district and trusts they have students’ best interests in mind.

“The new times (might) be difficult at first, but I think that it’s for the better and that it is going to make busing as smooth as possible for all the schools,” Yakes said. “Our schools want the best for us, and they are not going to try to make us uncomfortable. They want to make the school a better place and have us do our best.”