Committee to study pros, cons of later starting time for Trumbull schools
TRUMBULL — An expanded committee will investigate the effect later school starting times would have on high school sports, parents, after-school jobs, and traffic in town, according to a report from Asst. Supt. Jonathan Budd.
Budd presented his plan for the later school start time committee to the Board of Education at its July 14 meeting. He also detailed the committee’s timeline for completing its work.
“The committee will be meeting monthly starting in July and through October,” Budd said. He expects to report the committee’s findings to the board at its Nov. 20 meeting.
“This will allow potential implementation for the 2021-22 school year,” he said.
The need to move the committee along quickly is due to the timing of the school system’s budget process. Should the process continue into December, it would likely require a years’ delay.
“From every district we studied, there is some financial cost,” he ssaid.
The committee’s mission is simply to determine what implementation of later start times would require, and how could it be done. This includes potential benefits and concerns.
Parents and community members can remain involved either through attending the committee meetings, or by following updates on the committee page on the Trumbull Public Schools website.
In speaking with other school districts, Budd said there are four main topics the committee would need to address. First, the impact on interdistrict activities, namely athletics and interdistrict programs like the Regional Center for the Arts and the Bridgeport Regional Aquaculture Center.
Next, Budd said, there was the potential impact on “stakeholders” such as parents and staff, whose schedules would be altered. Student transportation, including school bus scheduling, was also a concern. And finally there is the impact on the town to consider, he said.
“There are things like traffic in town to consider, with school buses in different places at different times,” he said.
To accomodate the added committee responsibilities, Budd recommended expanding the committee — currently consisting of nine staff members, one parent, and one community representative — by six or seven.
“The community is engaged and interested,” he said. Ideally, the committee should include a parent from each level of school plus a few students.
“The concerns of parents in (kindergerten through fifth grade) versus high school might look very different,” Budd said. “And what about kids with after school jobs? I think we would get a voice from them that is likely to be different from adults.”