Changing school start times

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The Granby Board of Education (BOE) recently charged the Superintendent of Schools to conduct an administrative study to explore the impact of different school start times on students’ wellness and academic performance and to assess the feasibility of the implementation of new start times for all Granby schools.

In Connecticut, school districts such as Greenwich, Wilton, Guilford, West Hartford, and Simsbury have implemented, or are currently exploring, new start times.

The science and benefits of later start times for high school students and earlier start times for elementary students have generally been well-known and accepted by educators and clinical practitioners. School system practices have been slow to respond and change due to factors, such as, transportation logistics, costs, athletics, after-school activities, the impact on parent schedules, the timing of the associated changes, and the cost-benefit analysis. The Granby BOE is going to take a fresh, objective look at this topic through a thoughtful and inclusive process.

Commencing this spring, a school community School Start Times Taskforce, comprising of students, parents, teachers, administrators, and a board member will oversee the research and planning process and will include multiple opportunities to solicit feedback from different constituents. The Taskforce’s year-long work will culminate in recommendations and a board decision in the spring of 2019. It is anticipated any change in start times would not occur until the fall of 2020.

This topic will be a regular BOE agenda item and the community will receive multiple updates through Superintendent Forums, PTO meetings, print sources, and social media.