Parents Express Frustrations on Proposed Boston Public Schools Schedule Change

What to Know

  • Parents of students at Boston Public Schools spoke out at a Dec. 18 meeting over proposed changes to school start and dismissal times.
  • The changes, which would take place in fall 2018, would have many students starting their days at 7:15 a.m. and others getting out earlier.
  • Parents and teachers are concerned with students having a lack of sleep. Parents are also concerned with finding after-school childcare.

Parents of students at Boston Public Schools continue to air their frustrations about proposed changes to school start and dismissal times set to take effect next year.

At a meeting in West Roxbury Monday night, parents expressed their concerns — most of which surround elementary schools — where many students would be starting as early as 7:15 a.m.

"You can’t ask children to wake up at the crack of dawn and go out to school," said parent Tigran Eldred. "Get their school buses before it’s even light out."

Eldred and his wife are now considering pulling their two children out of Manning Elementary next year.

"This changes everything for us," added his wife Jen Stumpf. "We wouldn’t stay at our school with a 7:15 start time because we don’t think it’s good for our kids."

Teachers and students are also concerned with the early start time.

"Who’s going to suffer from this? Our young children are getting sleep deprived," said teacher Angela Rubenstein. "Coming to school not ready to learn which is going to hurt academic outcomes in the long run. As a teacher I see that."

The early start time isn't the only issue parents have. Some schools will also have early dismissals, meaning parents will have to come up with money for after-school programs.

"Who’s going to pay for it," asked parent Gretchen Lahey, whose son attends Hernandez K-8 School. "Do I have to pay for it? I’m struggling now to pay for the after-school that he’s in at his school, so how I will pay a higher cost of after school?"

Ten 10 community-wide feedback meetings are scheduled to take place across the city this week. Three are scheduled to take place on Tuesday from 6-8 p.m. at the following schools:

  • Mattapan Early Elementary School
  • Warren Prescott K-8 School in Charlestown
  • James F. Condon K-8 in South Boston

The school district has said the changes, in part, will lead to savings in the busing budget, and the money will go back into the schools.

The school committee hopes to have a final decision on all of the changes by mid-January.

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