Greenwich School Start Time Committee Wants Your Input on “Bell Time” Options

Greenwich Schools want your feedback on options for changes to “bell times” beginning in the 2017-18 school year. “Bell times” is shorthand for both start and end times for all Greenwich Schools, from Kindergarten through high school.

The School Start Time (SST) Steering Committee scheduled a series of Community Engagement Sessions both before and after the Superintendent makes his recommendation to the Board of Education.

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Community Engagement Session I. Bell Time options will be presented. Afterward there will be opportunity for discussion.  Childcare is provided at all evening sessions. Spanish translation will be available at day and evening sessions.

  • April 6 – 7:00-9:00 pm at Central Middle School auditorium
  • April 7 – 9:00am-11:00am at Greenwich Public Library, Cole Auditorium
  • April 19- 6:30pm-8:30pm at the Boys and Girls Club of Greenwich

The April 6 and 7 sessions will be led by School Bus Consultants “SBC” who will present various start time options. Session 1 will be taped and presented at the April 19th session.

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April 6- June 14 – Online Comment Form will be available on the website after the first community engagement session on April 6, and will be available for further public comments through June 14 when the BOE votes on the recommendation.

April – Options Survey will be disseminated to the public no later than the end of April, 2016. The goal is to provide the SST Steering Committee time to review the responses before the Superintendent’s recommendation to the BOE.

Between April and June the community is invited to attend Board of Education Meetings and School Start Time Meetings.

April 7. BOE Work Session, 7:00pm, Havemeyer

April 21. Regular BOE Meeting, 7:00pm, Riverside School (open for public comments)

• May 12. Superintendent’s Recommendation. Superintendent McKersie will present a recommendation on possible changes to K-12 school start (and dismissal) times to the Board of Education on May 12, 2016, 7:00 pm. at North Street School.

A second set of Community Engagement Sessions will provide the public another chance to discuss the recommendation and the plans for implementing changes to bell times, if applicable.

• May 23 at Central Middle School

• May 24 9:00am at Town Hall meeting room.Community forum on Superintendent’s recommendation.

• May 26 7:00pm Regular Board of Education meeting with time for public comment, Western Middle School

Decision Time! June 14, 2016, 7:00 pm The Board of Education is scheduled to act on the Superintendent’s recommendation on June 14, 2016, 7:00 pm at New Lebanon School, includes opportunity for public comment.

See also:

Joe Siciliano: Change in School Start Time Would Impact Use of Fields by Parks & Rec, Travel Teams and Non-School Groups

American Sleep Association Calls for Later School Start Times

Tesei to Board of Ed: Be Bold on School Start Time Change

School Start Time Forum: Parents Decry Scare Tactics, Warn Against Putting Budget over Teen Health

Later School Start Times Jumpstart Student Achievement


  • Andrea Ornelas

    Parents of Title 1 school get ready. Your schools will be the ones that they will push to start earlier. It will not be the vocal parents of the eastern side of school (the late start schools that will be affected).

    If you have a child in Ham Ave, JC or NL, your child will be starting their day at 7:30 AM and will be released at 2 PM.

    The expectation will be that your child will be crated at the Boys and Girls Club afterschool.

    Watch my words: the BOE will be making a donation to the Boys and Girls Club soon.

    This will be the option that is selected regardless of “input.”

  • Jackie

    7:30am is too early for any student to start school. All options that have a 7:30 start for elementary schools or the high school should be taken off the table. I don’t know many adults who need to be at their desks for work by 7:30am, never mind children!

  • Andrea Ornelas

    Jackie. You are right. But, wait and see what will happen. THEY (the BOE) will pretend to speak for the poorer working-class Title 1 families and will tell US that THEY do not want the late start option…because THEY have to get to work (unlike the stay-at-home moms at North Street, Riverside and Parkway).

    So, you guessed it. THE BOE will tell us–acting out of compassion and understanding for the working poor of HAM AVE, JC and NL, these will be the early start schools…starting at 7:30 AM.

    And, to appease the parents that say–rightly so–this is too early for their children–the BOE will offer them a free hot breakfast.

    And, you guessed it the parents of North Street, Parkway, Riverside, Old Greenwich, ISD will get to keep their preferred and current start time, the one they knew when they purchased their homes.

    The kids in the lowest performing schools will get up at the crack of dawn, go to school at 7:30 AM and be expected to be crated at the Boys and Girls Club from 2 PM on…until 5:30 or 6:30 PM when their working parents can pick them up.

    So, the poorest kids will be expected to be out of the house 11 hours a day.

    Then the BOE will hire a educational consultant to re-study the sudden widening of the achievement gap in the Title 1 schools.

    They will scratch their heads, do a two year study, pay a consultancy firm $200,000 and conclude that it is because THESE kids are “high needs” but actually performing above other “high needs” children in other towns with “similar high needs category.”

    There will be no mention or campaign about THESE kids lack of sleep or sleep deprivation, much less THESE parents sleep deprivation.

    Mark my words.

    Option #1 or Option #2 WILL come out the “winner” in the “parent input survey” conducted by the BOE’s “independent” consultant.