Jeffrey Pontiff’s column/editorial in today’s Newton TAB (“Importance of a healthy school start”—available on driveways but not yet online) urges Newton Public Schools to not shorten the school day when implementing later start times for high school. He says in part:

The Newton North school day averages 7 hours and 4 minutes, while South averages 7 hours and 6 minutes. …

 

The NPS high school schedule planning group [said in March that with a later start time,] the school day “must be 6.5 hours in length,” and “we accept that there will be less classroom time under a new schedule.” The group is expected to provide the School Committee with more specifics in June. If the group’s June report only details 6.5 hour day options, the School Committee will not have a viable plan for a healthy high school start that preserves instruction time. …

 

Over the school year [with a 6.5 hour day,] Newton North children will lose 3 weeks…of instruction. Compared to Weston and Brookline, our instruction time will face a four-week deficit. These comparisons are starker for Newton South. …

 

Now is the time to insist that the administration generate an array of schedule proposals that include the preservation of current academic time.

The June update that Jeffrey mentions will be presented at the School Committee meeting next Monday, June 18. The NPS High School Start Time Working Group’s webpage says, “Questions? Comments? Please email the high school start time working group at: [email protected].”







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