School Start Times Update – November 15, 2019

Dear Families,

At the Board of Education meeting on Tuesday of this week, I indicated that any change to our high school start time is highly unlikely for next year, September 2020. We recognize the impact that any change to our school schedules has across our school community and feel it is important to provide this update.

Our Start Times Committee is moving forward diligently with its charge of identifying what it will take to change our high school start time. We started this process based on the academic, social and emotional, and health benefits for students associated with a later high school start time.

The committee has begun examining the high school schedule and the impact on athletics and extracurricular activities, and transportation. It is clear that we still have a significant amount of analysis to do, particular as it relates to transportation. We are likely to have a study done on this area in the near future so we know exactly how feasible a change is and what schedule adjustments might be needed at all levels to make it happen.

Additionally, the Bethlehem, East Greenbush and Guilderland school systems are also exploring later high school start times, and I have been working with the superintendents of those districts. If we are able to coordinate this transition with more districts, all could benefit.

Separate from this process, a decision will be made in the coming months about the school configuration options that are under consideration. This could also factor into discussions about start times, so a decision on our configuration will help us proceed with the necessary information at hand.

After we have done more analysis, we will share information and seek feedback from our teachers, staff members and families prior to any decision-making.

Thank you,

Cosimo Tangorra, Jr.
Superintendent of Schools