BOSTON (CBS) – Facing backlash from parents, Boston Superintendent of Schools Tommy Chang announced on Friday that the city will not implement changes to school start times next year as planned.
Parents have protested the decision to start some elementary schools about two hours earlier. Changes were slated to begin next year, but that is no longer the case.
A small group of parents had already planned a City Hall demonstration Friday, calling the proposed school time changes “an assault on working families.”
But for some their Christmas wish came true after Superintendent Chang announced those changes won’t happen next year.
“I hope Superintendent Chang is being honest when he says he’s willing to listen to what parents have to say,” said parent Dorothy Fennell.
Some parents have been very vocal at past school committee meetings and committee feedback sessions about their opposition to altering starting times and end times to the school day.
High school students wouldn’t have to show up until after 8:00 a.m., letting them get additional sleep that experts say they need.
But elementary school kids would have to arrive earlier with an out time of 4:30 p.m.
“Our school went from 9:30 to 7:15 in the morning,” said parent Judy Grant. “That’s a more than two hour change and that would have meant our kids would be in school for over 11 hours with after school program.”
In a letter to parents, Chang said the decision was based on feedback and while he believes the new schedule would achieve the goal of supporting academic success he added: “The shifts to many school start times caused a more significant disruption to family schedules than we intended.”
But many parents and the Boston Teachers Union criticized the School Department for not making the process more inclusive, they hope there will be more participation allowed next time.