Survey results support exploration of change in school start times

The results of the School Start Time Survey conducted by the Greenwich Public Schools (GPS) strongly supports the exploration of a change in school start times among parent, student and staff respondents.

The survey, administered between May 26 and June 5 to GPS students in Grades 8-12, all parents and all staff, yielded response rates of 37%, 42% and 61% respectively. The majority of parents (75%) and students (77%) responding are supportive or highly supportive of exploring a change in school start times. Staff respondents were largely supportive (45%) or neutral (20%) in their support of exploring a change in school start times.

Superintendent of Schools Bill McKersie said, “I consider the School Start Time Survey and the findings to be valid and reliable. The strong response rates and resulting data reflect clear support among students, parents and staff for exploring a change in school start times.

Therefore, I will be recommending to the Board of Education in September 2015 a work schedule for exploring optimal school start times for maximizing student academic success, health and well-being in grades PreK-12. Given the relevance of this issue to our strategic concerns about students’ personal and interpersonal capacities, this exploration will be presented as a priority component of the Strategic Plan.”

The work schedule for exploring a change in school start times will include a proposed point person, steering committee and timeline for the development of options. The options will be developed with the review and input of parents, staff, students and community and, ultimately, will be presented to the Board of Education for action. The School Start Time Steering Committee will be charged with considering costs and other impacts of any adjustments to school start times, including, but not limited to transportation, before and after school activities, childcare and work responsibilities, and athletic schedules. The survey data will provide initial guidance for the School Start Time Steering Committee on level of support for potential models and areas of concern.

The release and data reports are posted on the GPS website: http://www.greenwichschools.org/page.cfm?p=75

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