- Category: Education
- Published on Thursday, 08 March 2012 23:03
- Written by Susan Winters
This evening, a forum was held at Joel Barlow High School addressing the proposed changes in start times for RES and JRMS. The meeting started at 7:30 and ended at 10. Over 100 Redding parents, teachers and interested parties attended.
Dr. Bernard Josefberg, ER9 Superintendent of Schools spoke at length on the reasoning he had for supporting the changes in the school's starting times. Here is his letter to Redding parents dated 2/3/2012. http://www.er9.org/homepagefiles/Redding_Community_Ltr-School_Start_Times02032012.pdf
Dr Josefberg spoke about aligning our start times with Easton and that Redding was an anomaly when compared to the rest of the state considering the differences in start times between our two lower schools. He spoke about the need for professional development between Redding and Easton and how having the same schedules would facilitate that and would ease the transition for the middle schoolers going into the high school. There were also issues with buses being late caused by their earlier bus routes.
He said that he had asked the principals of the schools and the many teachers attending not to speak because he did not want to put them on the spot. He did admit that the teachers at RES were overall not for the change; the teachers at JRMS were neither for or against it and the principals were content for things to stay as they were. Members of the Board of Education were in attendance and also did not speak.
About 2 dozen parents got up to ask questions or make comments. Not one speaker was for the changes. Instead, parents brought up sleep studies, the inconvenience and impracticality of changing before and after school activities, and questioned whether Redding's children were really being put first in this proposed change. One parent asked why couldn't it be put to a referendum so that all could vote instead of just the Board of Ed. Overall, the speakers seemed to feel that the entire issue should be revisited by adding JBHS's start time to the equation. Sleep studies show that teenagers need to sleep the latest. They asked if perhaps JBHS and RES times should be swapped and leave JRMS the way it is. On addressing the "anomaly'" parents asked why being different was wrong. Wilton's decision to change their high school start to a later time was discussed favorably.
The speakers were respectful and thankful for the wonderful work done by our teachers and the Board of Ed.