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Feb 4, 2015 11:13 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Sag Harbor May Move Forward With 15-Minute Later Start For Upcoming School Year

Feb 4, 2015 11:13 AM

The Sag Harbor School Board may move forward with a 15-minute later start time for the 2015-16 school year while further exploring a significantly later start time.

In December, district officials presented six later start times to the board, many of which would mean spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to purchase new buses and hire additional drivers. A small change in the form of a 15-minute later start, though, would come at no cost to the district, Superintendent Katy Graves has said.

Pierson Middle/High School currently starts at 7:25 a.m., while Sag Harbor Elementary starts at 8:35 a.m.

While the board took no action at its meeting Tuesday night, members said they were willing to support the shift as long as the district still explores an even later time that allows students to get an adequate amount of sleep each night. “If we can do 15 minutes, I think we should do it. Why not?” board member David Diskin said.

Vice President Chris Tice, however, suggested the district create a formal committee “to be able to come back to the board with more structured, well-thought-out scenarios” than presented in December. Districts that have implemented a later start time, Ms. Tice said, have spent years, rather than two months, formulating the change.

“It’s not that there wasn’t a lot of great work—the process was just accelerated,” she said. “I would debate the concept that incremental change is good when it comes to school start time. That’s not what the research bears.”

Parents have been vocal about their desire to help the district come up with an ideal and realistic later start time scenario. At Tuesday’s meeting, parent Susan Lamontagne said she would like the district to move beyond a 15-minute delay.

“It isn’t enough—we need to find a way to move to 8,” Ms. Lamontagne told the board. “I would really encourage you not to drop all the work you put in.”

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It's a step, but still needs to be pushed closer to 8am.
By April1 (156), Southampton on Feb 6, 15 10:37 AM
8k run & 3 mile walk, Agawam Park, Southampton Rotary Club fundraiser