This week, the public schools issued another monthly newsletter to parents. The new message included another invitation for public involvement in district decisions. This one is for the overall strategic plan for Northborough-Southborough K-12 schools.
The district also updated on a Transportation group that it recruited members for last month and the School Start Time group founded last year. The communication again emphasized that any changes to the start time wouldn’t take place until the school year after next.
Here are the excerpts from Superintendent Greg Martineau’s email:
Strategic Planning Steering Committee ~ Seeking Members
The Public Schools of Northborough and Southborough is re-authoring its Strategic Plan, Vision 2020: Strategically Planning for the Future, which was approved by the school committees in the spring of 2013. The Plan has served the District well over the past seven years and it is now time to set a new course.
The process to draft a new plan will be an inclusive effort and will provide many different opportunities for stakeholders to provide feedback and input.These opportunities will include participating in community forums, focus groups, and surveys. The outcome of this process is to develop multi-year and annual action plans that are living documents that guide District systems and respond to the changes in the District context.
One of the first steps in this work is to establish a steering committee of key stakeholders. At this time we are seeking a Northborough Public School community member, a Southborough Public School community member, and an Algonquin Regional High School community member. If you are interested in serving as a member, please complete the linked form.
I will provide the community with more specific information about the process in the weeks to come and encourage as many community members, parents, faculty, staff, and students to participate in the strategic planning process.
School Start Time Task Force ~ Update
Since my last communication in September, the School Start Time Task Force has had two meetings. The first phase in the process is to provide the community with opportunities to learn more about the biology of sleep and the importance of sleep for adolescents. The Task Force will be launching a web page, cable show, community forums, as well as a number of means for the community to learn about this important topic.*
*It’s essential to note that if the outcome of this work results in a change to the schools’ start times, the changes would not be implemented until the 2021-2022 school year.
Transportation Advisory Working Group ~ Update
I am pleased to share with the community that we have established a ten-member Transportation Advisory Working Group, which includes parents, educators, and principals. The purpose of the Transportation Advisory Working Group is to provide the District with input and feedback on how transportation services can be improved across our ten schools. The Transportation Advisory Working Group will meet three times during the 2019-2020 school year. The first meeting will be scheduled shortly and updates will be shared with the community.
Recently (10/14/19) California passed legislation slated to go into effect as early as 7/1/2022, providing later school start times – 0830 for high schoolers.
Here in Southborough, the ‘school system’ has been delaying taking any action on this IMPORTANT issue since, at least 2014. Why is that?
And now, the new superintendent is going to allow the ‘task (read DELAYING) force’ the opportunity to present information about the importance of sleep and particularly sleep for adolescents? Forget the web sites and dog & pony shows. Take action! Your predecessor avoided the issue as did her predecessor. SHOW some LEADERSHIP and RESOLVE this IMPORTANT issue.
WAY too little – and FAR too late sir!
Stop delaying and change the start time particularly for ARHS!!!
Two issues here, I think: the costs of school bus transportation and/or the potential impact on lower grades start times.
Pushing the high school start time back ripples to the other schools because they all use the same buses. Depending on where they live, some grammar school kids already get home very late in the afternoon and further delays there are difficult to ask.
More buses could fix the problem but would cost taxpayers more money.
Do you start grammar school earlier? then high school then middle school? or grammar, middle then HS? what sequence makes most sense… who gets more inconvenienced? as rush hour gets heavier, the bus time between southborough and ARHS gets longer and creates more impacts.
For latchkey kids, is it ok for the younger student to get home ahead of their older siblings?
Will taxpayers be ok with higher property taxes if more buses becomes the solution?
Maybe once everyone is fully educated about the harm early start time does to high schoolers, maybe the costs or new inconveniences won’t seem so bad.