By Mike LaCrosse, WBZ-TV

BOSTON (CBS) – It was standing room only at Wednesday night’s Boston School Committee meeting.

Dozens of parents packed into the room to voice their concerns about the district’s new start time policy.

The meeting got heated at times with people interrupting committee members and the superintendent.

“Our goal here was to make the most equitable decisions for the entire school system,” said Boston Public Schools Superintendent Tommy Chang.

school Boston Parents Voice Concerns Over New School Start Times

Boston parents protest new school start times at School Committee meeting (WBZ-TV)

“If given a tradeoff between 9:30 and 7:15, 7:30 research indicates that elementary school students are better at an earlier time, high school students clearly are better at a later time. That’s what we’re trying to do for kids,” said Boston Public Schools Chief of Operations John Hanlon.

It’s that’s 7:15 a.m. start that’s making parents really upset.

“Our big worry for scheduling is just how early she’ll have to go to bed at night,” said parent Amanda Warren.

Parent Amanda Warren said they’ll have to change their whole family routine at night. She’ll also have to adjust her work schedule to pick her daughter up when school ends at 1:15 p.m.

“When I don’t work, I don’t make money. I don’t have benefits so there is not earned time for me if I have to cut out early,” said Warren.

School officials said they are getting some positive feedback from parents of elementary school students.

“It’s unfortunate for the folks that are really struggling with it, but you know sometimes you have to give it a chance and see what works,” said parent Rosie Hanlon.

Superintendent Chang said their focus is now on implementation of the new policy. The district will be holding a series of community meeting to help answer questions over the next week.

Comments (2)
  1. Thank you for reporting on the issue. It isn’t just early start times that are problematic – late times are too. The Quincy School in Chinatown has been facing enormous problems with traffic due to release at peak rush hour. Medically fragile children have suffered emergencies while on busses in traffic for hours. Now the district has moved 3 of the 4 downtown schools to similarly late start times during peak rush hour.

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