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Newsletter No. 22

May 8th, 2019

You have until Friday, May 10th, to take the survey


Have you taken the school schedule survey? Many people either didn’t receive it, or it ended up in their spam. If you still did not get the survey, there is a good chance it is in your spam. Search NCPS School Schedule Survey, sent by surveys@qemailserver.com. If you still don’t have it, you can contact ckeller@hanoversurveys.com

Each survey has a unique link so it cannot be forwarded to other people. Your response will not be counted if they receive multiple responses from the same link. Only parent responses received through unique email links will be counted.

It is important that as many parents as possible are represented in the results. You can take it more than once if you have more than one child in the system. At the BOE meeting last night, Dr. Luizzi said that 300 staff have taken the survey but only 625 parents. We need our voices to be stronger than that!
 

Bus options explained, one more time


It is a little tricky to compare the different bus options while taking the survey.  There is one page in the beginning with all of them so you can compare them together, but as you move forward in your survey, you cannot click back to that page. So we wanted to give you this information one more time so you can have this newsletter open while you do the survey. Note that the survey will present the bus options in a random order, so the order below is not necessarily how you will see them.

Option 1: Current schedule
7:30 - 2:05 / High School and 7th-8th grades
8:20 - 2:55 / South School and 5th-6th grades
9:05 - 3:35 / East and West schools

This is the current schedule. We already know that the status quo is unacceptable and does harm to our vulnerable adolescents and teens (see our educational component below). We hope this option is only here to show the baseline, and is not still a viable option.

Option 2: Two tier schedule
8:15 - 2:50 / High School, 7th-8th grades, and South
9:10 - 3:40 / 5th-6th grades, East and West

This is a 2-tier option and the most costly because you would need many more buses. This option falls short of the medical recommendation that high school start no earlier than 8:30. Without reaching that goal, this option falls short and we don't support it.

Option 3: Flip 1st and 2nd tiers
7:30 - 2:00 / South School and 5th-6th grades
8:20 - 2:50 / High School and 7th-8th grades
9:05 - 3:35 / East and West schools

This option is the same as the current schedule, just flipping the first and second tier. It would involve some cost because more buses would be needed for the elementary students so that they aren't walking to school in the dark. The cost would be around $250k annually. This is the simplest option and the least expensive. However, it is not an option we support because we know it will be met with a lot of resistance from current South School parents, which could derail the entire effort. 

Option 4: Elementary all together, Saxe all together
7:45 - 2:15 / Elementary schools
8:20 - 2:55 / High School
9:05 - 3:35 / Saxe 
 

*This is our preferred option*

This option gets all elementary schools on the same schedule and all of Saxe on the same schedule, something that teachers asked for. The cost would be around $350k per year. Saxe has to go at the end because their bus route would have to be slightly tiered, with kids living further away from school going in the first run, and kids closer to school in the second run. We would like to see them add 5 minutes to the High School option, so that school starts as close to the 8:30 medically recommended time. There are a lot of benefits to this option, aside from getting our adolescents more sleep, including:

  • Elementary schools start earlier and dismiss earlier, which teachers have said is preferred over the current 3:35 dismissal. The best time for elementary students to learn is early in the morning. By 3:35, they are worn out.
  • All elementary on one tier, which teachers have been asking for and which solves some problems with coordinating after school activities.
  • Middle schools are on the last tier which works because their activities usually start the latest and it is beneficial for middle schoolers to have less unsupervised time in the afternoon.

Option 5: No school starting before 8am
8:00 - 2:35 / High School
8:45 - 3:15 / Elementary schools
9:30 - 4:00 / Saxe

This option was created in response to requests by parents that no school start before 8am. The cost would be about $200k annually. This option is not acceptable as it is because the high school starts at 8am, when the medical community says that high school should start no earlier than 8:30. We support this option if the first two tiers are flipped. The tradeoffs with this healthy option are:

  • If the high school is from 8:45 - 3:20, there may be more logistical problems with after school activities than if the high school is dismissed by 3pm. (But we have seen many, many high schools around the country dismiss this late and adjust quickly to the new normal.)
  • The 4pm dismissal for Saxe is 25 minutes later than the current latest dismissal in New Canaan (East and West dismiss at 3:35). This could increase afternoon teacher commute times.
     

Our own Karen Willett on the NewCanaanite's podcast this week. Listen as she shares her knowledge and insights about School Start Times in New Canaan.

     
WRITE TO THE BOE
 

Your voice is so important!

 

Please take a few minutes and write to the Board of Ed and Superintendent to let them know that you strongly support a later start time for 7-12th graders.

Click

HERE
to email them!

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startnewcanaanlater@gmail.com

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