10 thoughts on “Superintendent: Elementary School Kids To Begin at 8 a.m. Under Revised Start Times Schedule

  1. Getting to an 8am start is a huge win for our littlest learners. Thank you. These years set their foundation for successful learning throughout their entire education career – an hopefully sets a life long curiosity and love of learning. And as stated many times before sleep is the super power allowing them to take on this adventure. For this I am grateful.

    Additionally, I am encouraged to hear and look forward to hearing more in the near future on bringing in the other tiers closer to 8:30/9:00. This is a difficult balancing game and one that deserves the tweaking.

    So many moving parts – it doesn’t go unnoticed the details required. It is complicated. So thank you for continuing to improve and trying meet the needs of the community including teachers, administrators, school workers, our larger business community, students, etc…It takes a village truly.

    Looking forward to even more good news soon.

  2. Glad to see the BOE is still working on this – I would ask everybody to really rethink if we still want to do this for ~45 school days at the end of the next academic year. It is a lot of unnecessary disruption and money that could wait until the start of the next academic year with literally no negative impacts. Even under this present BOE plan we still have the issue of Elementary starting around an hour and change before most preK programs (including the NCPS) in town, and now with 5-6 grade at 9:20 we still have the early morning issue for families (that can be solved with an early birds program like we have today at the Elementary schools). As we add more cost to the BOE changed school start program we need to continue to benchmark where we are moving to and what a 2 tier plan would really cost, and the benefits it would provide to most everybody.

  3. Well done to Dr Luizzi on his team for their thoughtful and dedicated work in getting elementary students to 8am (vs 745 as outlined under scenario A, which was voted on by the BOE at their June 7th meeting — https://www.ncps-k12.org/site/default.aspx?PageType=3&ModuleInstanceID=2543&ViewID=94B66785-F3F0-41A8-8414-1E55691D3E9E&RenderLoc=0&FlexDataID=29385&PageID=869). Thanks also goes to BOE member Dionna Carlson for her tireless efforts to advocate for a later start time on behalf of elementary students — at the June 7th BOE meeting she said of an 8am start (vs 745am), “This is my line in the sand. 8am.” She went on to outline how this could be possible with additional busing. She also proposed an amendment to the motion for scenario A calling for 8am (not 745am) to be the start time for elementary. Only BOE member Naughton supported this motion (alongside Carlson). Thus it is quite heartening to see that a mere two weeks on Dr Luizzi was able to make this happen. A huge thank you to those who fought hard for this.

    • But the line in the sand came to nothing. Affected nothing, led nowhere. The Board of Ed voted 6-2 for the new start times schedule and the administration once again voiced its promise to continue working on those times, then made good on its promise.

      If Monday night on hearing the superintendent’s announcement about 8 a.m. a Board of Ed member declared that he or she was now drawing a line in the sand for an 8:01 a.m. start, how meaningful would that be? Imagine the district announces in August that an 8:05 a.m. start time has been achieved through efficiencies found by those actually working on the problem (as opposed to a Board of Ed member making declarations as part of a minority vote). Would that be cause for celebrating the Board of Ed member?

      The other thing you’ve misunderstood—and this you got wrong three times in your comment—is that the new 8 a.m. start time is a 10-minute improvement from 7:50 a.m. (not 7:45 a.m.). Here’s what Dr. Luizzi said at the June 7 meeting: “We have been working on the times and I can say with confidence that in a three-tier scenario I can confidently say we can move to 7:50 for a start time without impacting the start/end times of the other buildings.” (I’ve bookmarked that part of the meeting here.)

      Thank you for submitting your comment.

      • Thank you for your comment. My understanding is that scenario A has always been 745 start for elementary as indicated on the BOE website and much official documentation. 750 was aspirational (high degree of confidence or not), no? 745 is what has was proposed and voted upon — with the stated intention of moving to 750am as best possible. My intention is to highlight the tireless efforts and advocacy of Ms Carlson to push for an 8am start time, and to express gratitude — and to praise Dr Luizzi and the administration for acting swiftly to move the start time from 745/ 750 to 8am. The majority of the BOE opted to vote against Ms Carlson’s amendment re: 8am start time. I think Ms Carlson should be recognized for her advocacy and efforts — which is not to say that 8am would not have been achieved in her absence but her very vocal support was noted and appreciated by many.

  4. Many thanks to Dionna Carlson and Bob Naughton for their efforts in pushing the board and administration for some compromise and at least an 8:00AM start time for our elementary schools. Without their advocacy this efficiency may not have been found. I also appreciate the administration and Roy Walder’s efforts in getting us to 8:00AM. The 10 to 15 minute later bus pick-ups should take us to 7:20-7:25 (previously indicated to be 7:10). These 15 minutes could be the difference between a healthy breakfast and a breakfast bar for many children or for some families this would allow the option to let children ride the bus as opposed to drop their children off for the extra sleep.
    We do hope that the administration continues to look for efficiencies in the upcoming months and year that would allow our elementary schools to start at times closer to other elementary schools (CT average 8:40AM). However, this change is a great start and regret that it needed to be this divisive before an improved solution and some compromise could be found.

  5. Dr. Luizzi and the administration is accomplishing precisely what they said they would in working on the start times—not over-promising and under-delivering but continuing to work and find efficiencies wherever possible. I applaud him continuing to work tirelessly on this despite all the noise aimed at and surrounding him and his team. We are so lucky to have him working on behalf of our kids.

  6. Hilary, precisely. They have continued to work hard on this important issue despite the many distractions, demands and ultimatums thrown at them, whilst also finishing strongly an unprecedented school year. Thank you to those in our community who have shown support for our school district all year and allowed them to do their jobs.

  7. Thank you to Dr. Luizzi and our fabulous Board of Ed (both past and present) for diligently working over the past four years to optimize a school start time schedule that will benefit the health and well being of all the students in our school district. The plethora of due diligence included medical research and conferences, numerous consultants, feedback from the community, traffic studies, and multiple surveys all leading to the discussion and application of real world knowledge to many iterations of scenarios. There are so many factors that have been carefully weighed and integrated into the current proposal and I am wholeheartedly thankful that NCPS has an administration who cares so deeply about our children. Dr. Luizzi, we are so lucky to have you!