Letter: Town Council Should Reject Funding for Changes to School Start Times

This week our Town Council has the difficult and unenviable task of advising the Board of Education on this year’s budget. One that contains the controversial addition of a start time initiative that has been conveyed to many as simply “later start times for high school students.”

In actuality, we are not removing early start times at all. 

Our tax dollars would be going to swap “too early for high school” start times with our youngest elementary school children. Giving our youngest children the dubious honor of having the earliest elementary school start times in all of Connecticut, an hour earlier than other top ranked schools. So, is this swap worth more than $1 million this year and hundreds of thousands of dollars each year going forward? I contend that not only is it not worth it, but we could be doing greater harm to our elementary schoolchildren than any benefit received by high school students.

Letter: Risks and Concerns Over Board of Education’s Start Time Initiative

Letter to the town,

As many in town are aware the Board of Education is requesting about $1 million for additional buses and drivers to implement a strategy to essentially swap “too early for high schoolers” start times with this towns elementary school children. There has been much debate over this issue, and some have devolved this into high school parents versus elementary school parents, and that should not be the case. Many people who are opposed to this plan actually support trying to get our high schoolers more sleep, but not solely on the backs of our towns youngest learners and risking the very educational system that draws many new families to this town. Here are some facts on the BOE’s plan that appear clear. (But as always please let me know if they are substantively incorrect.)

We currently have one of the top ranked school districts in all of Connecticut, ranked 2nd in the last Niche school survey.

Letter: Earlier School Start Times for New Canaan Students

Perhaps many have heard the New Canaan Board of Education touting its plan for later school start times for students and how it would be a great win for “our” students. More sleep for our children sounds like a great thing, right? What Board of Ed members don’t mention is that it would be solely at the expense of our youngest children (and about $1 million in tax dollars). The current plan they are trying to push through is attempting to give high school students an additional hour of sleep by taking away one hour and 20 minutes from most elementary school children. This would represent the earliest elementary school start time in all of Connecticut and an average of one hour earlier than the other schools.