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June 29, 2012 > New Haven District announces adjustment to school start times

New Haven District announces adjustment to school start times

Submitted By Rick La Plante

In an effort to help alleviate increased traffic on city streets since state budget cuts forced the gradual elimination of bus transportation for students, the New Haven Unified School District will make a slight adjustment to school start times for the 2012-13 school year.

Elementary students still will begin school at 8 a.m.; however, James Logan High students will start five minutes later, at 8:20 a.m. (instead of 8:15), and middle school students will start 10 minutes later, at 8:40 a.m. (instead of 8:30). The changes will give parents who have children at more than one school 20 minutes to get from site to site, instead of 15.

Elementary students still will be dismissed at 2:05 p.m., middle school students at 2:55 p.m. and Logan students at 3:25 p.m.

"We considered several scenarios and asked parents and our employees for their feedback, and the adjustments we've made are the ones that folks seem to agree will cause the least disruption and still enable us to accomplish our goal, giving parents and extra five minutes to get from school to school," Superintendent Kari McVeigh said.

Nearly 220 parents responded to a District request to provide online comments and suggestions on school start times, as well as feedback on four possible scenarios. Of the nearly 200 parents who expressed a preference for one of the scenarios, a clear plurality of 44.4 percent, selected the model calling for elementary schools to start first, followed by Logan, then the middle schools. The second-most popular option (Logan/middle schools/elementary schools) was selected by 26.3 percent of the respondents. The third-most popular scenario (middle schools/Logan/elementary schools) was selected by 22.7 percent, and the fourth-most popular option (Logan/elementary schools/middle schools) was selected by 6.6 percent.

"Obviously, starting times that work well for some parents don't work as well for others," Superintendent McVeigh said. "Our goal was to adopt a plan that seems to work best for most."

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