Last year, I shared information with you about the important work Newton is doing to examine the impact of high school start times on students. Since Newton began its work, several other districts across the state have begun to investigate whether a change in high school start time is right for their district. The growing interest in high school start time is a reflection of the compelling research demonstrating the unique sleep cycles of adolescents and the potential consequences of sleep deficit.
A working group spent the 2015-16 school year reviewing sleep research, investigating processes in other districts, and gathering survey feedback from Newton students, faculty, and families. Regular updates were provided to the School Committee, posted to the district website, and distributed via email. A final report with survey results and analysis was issued in June 2016. Click here for the full report End of Year Report.
From the research and feedback, the High School Start Time Working Group has created six potential “scenarios” for consideration. These scenarios move the high school start time later. Some impact only the high schools while others impact all schools in the district. These scenarios were presented to the School Committee on Monday, September 19, 2016 and can be viewed here.
The next step is for you, the NPS community, to provide your feedback on the potential changes to the start times. As a district, we want to hear your thoughts on the benefits, costs, and implications of any changes, as well as your feedback on the value of undertaking this effort. We have scheduled a community forum for Wednesday, October 19th at 7 p.m. at Angier (1697 Beacon St.) at which the Working Group will share information and listen to your feedback. We hope you will attend. We will also share information through PTO meetings this fall, as well as through school newsletters. To share you feedback directly with the Working Group, please send an email to: email@example.com. For more information visit the district website at www.newton.k12.ma.us/page/2553.
I look forward to hearing your feedback this fall as we consider whether a later high school start time is right for the Newton Public Schools.
David A. Fleishman
Superintendent of Schools