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Oct 5, 2016 10:31 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton School Officials Revisit Later Start Times

Southampton School Board President Roberta Hunter and the other board members were presented with the possibility of pushing the high school start time forward 24 minutes, on Tuesday. GREG WEHNER
Oct 5, 2016 10:52 AM

Southampton School District officials on Tuesday revisited the possibility of pushing the high school start time forward by 24 minutes to give students a little extra sleep in the morning—something researchers say is crucial for teenagers.

Southampton High School Principal Dr. Brian Zahn presented School Board members with a tentative draft of what the new schedule would look like. Students would start the day at 7:51 a.m. and finish at 3 p.m. Currently, high school students are expected to be in the building no later than 7:26 a.m., and a warning bell goes off before the start of first period at 7:31 a.m.

Dr. Zahn said the high school day could not go beyond 3 p.m. because the athletics program schedules games against other schools after that time.

If Southampton eventually moves forward with a later start time, it would be following in the footsteps of the Sag Harbor School District, which started classes at Pierson Middle/High School 15 minutes later beginning last year.

Southampton’s proposed high school schedule is in an exploratory stage, and, as School Board members discovered on Tuesday, there are a number of factors that need to be considered before making a decision. Board member Andy Brindle noted that the school buses would run into more traffic on the roads later in the morning.

Dr. Zahn also pointed out that district officials would need to look into changing the start time of all three schools to coordinate bus schedules, and would have to look into contract agreements with the bus drivers, because under the current agreement the district would have to pay overtime with a different schedule in place. “There are a lot of layers to this change that we have to explore,” he said.

This is not the first time that district officials have looked into a later start time. In fact, they have looked at possibilities for the past two years, but never followed through.

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Better
By Hamptons Seashell (34), Southampton on Oct 5, 16 10:22 PM
Later is better and should be done for all the schools if they move forward. Busses should have "common area stops" and stop stopping all along the roads. Drivers don't need overtime-they're per diem and if all the schools started later so would the drivers. A 6:40 AM bus is tough on a 10 year old 5th grader.
By foodwhiner (148), Southampton on Oct 6, 16 6:23 AM
Agreed! The busses picking up students along North Sea Road stop at almost house along some sections! Talk about traffic.
By bigfresh (4590), north sea on Oct 6, 16 7:41 AM
As a bus driver, I just want to clarify the many stops along North Sea Road. In quiet neighborhoods, off the main roads, it is easy to consolidate stops and make more " neighborhood" stops. However, along roads such as North Sea Road, Noyac Road, etc., it is necessary to make house stops. I would not want my 5th grader walking along that road at anytime of day. Therefore, for safety reasons, we employ the house stop rule on busy roads.
By orion4ever (13), sag harbor on Oct 7, 16 9:34 AM
1 member liked this comment
Just a short 2 years ago the district wanted to force an almost 9hr school day at SES. I'm glad to see that the school day at SHS is starting closer to what was implemented years ago. The BOE also needs to address the ending time which is almost an hour longer than It used to be.
By April1 (156), Southampton on Oct 7, 16 11:57 AM
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