Letter: Later School Start Times Has Been an Overall Positive Experience for Greenwich Public School Families

Letter to the Editor submitted from Marc Tauber, March 26, 2018

It has come to my attention that there is a movement afoot to roll back the later school start times for the 2018-19 school year.  I know there was a meeting last week to discuss publicly.  Please let me strongly disagree with this potential change.  The later start times have been incredibly positive for each of my kids.  I have one in the high school, one at Western Middle School and one at Glenville, so I have seen the effect at each level of additional sleep time.

I think it is especially important at the high school level, as these older kids tend to be up the latest at night for a variety of reasons, so forcing them to get on the bus before 7:00 in the morning is really counterproductive.  As each of my kids participates in athletics, the argument that the later start times have a negative effect on athletic schedules rings hollow.  There is still sufficient time for teams to get in their practices and to travel to away games, and if the later start times cause some teams to run into darkness issues in the fall, I would posit that this is a small price to pay to ensure the overall health and welfare of the broader student body.  In my discussions with parents of other students throughout the year, the overwhelming feeling has been that the move to later start times has been a positive experience for their families.

The only negative responses I have heard have been a result of personal logistical issues, rather than a feeling that kids have been negatively impacted in any way. Once again, I strongly urge against rolling back the time changes.

Please make sure to properly consider the broader desires of the large majority of the town’s parents before making any hasty adjustments.

Marc Tauber
Greenwich, CT