Community Schools

Reader Poll: Should Boston Change School Start Times?

Mayor Martin Walsh welcomed children to the annual Countdown to Kindergarten event this past August. (Mayor’s Office Photo by Jeremiah Robinson)

For the past 18 months Boston has been weighing the options for changing school start times. As reported by the Boston Globe, school officials working with MIT researchers have found there are 1.8 octodecillian possible school start time combinations. The Boston School Committee is expected to vote on the overarching policy at the beginning of December, with new start times being announced on December 7th.

The new start times would likely have younger students starting earlier in the day, and older students arriving later. This would allow teenagers to adjust to their natural biological sleep cycle, and prevent younger students from returning home after dark. While many people agree with these changes, there are also new challenges to consider with adjusted start times, and some people simply prefer how it is, including a teenager from the Boston Globe article who prefers to start early and have free afternoons.

What do you think about the changing school hours? Vote in our poll and add your comments in the section below.

Note: Web polls are not scientific, representing only those readers who choose to vote.

3 Replies to “Reader Poll: Should Boston Change School Start Times?

  1. BPS continues to implement changes that are not family friendly. Many families select schools based on how the hours fit in with their work and other schedules. They also recently changes notification for K2 placements to the end of May. Used to be mid-March- the same time as preschools. Not helpful!

  2. One issue regarding start times which I feel has not been adequately addressed is that of traffic. Many middle and high school students in Boston have to travel a fair distance to school – and after 8 am many streets in Boston are gidlocked – so in the end, depending on where the school is located, students would have to leave at nearly the same time even if the start time is pushed back. The same issue for the T – is much slower and more crowded after 8am.

  3. You don’t give the option of all students starting at the same time of day at schools near them. That’s the only option. We need an education policy with a federal curriculum (don’t call it Socialist – it’s not) and all students should attend schools within walking distance from home (we did it before!). If the union and the administration can’t do that much, they’re failing. Fire the bad teachers, eliminate charter schools, and don’t give fired teachers first dibs on job openings – that’s just basic common sense and ignores the profit motive of charter schools – profit motive has no place in our education policy. Now I’m pro union, but the current situation is all for ridiculous union terms and the ridiculous school board approach of “keep changing the curriculum and change it again before it’s tested”, direct from the “we need to justify our existence” graduate schools of education, and the asshat state and federal education agencies that don’t have the students’ needs at heart enough to know all education should be under a federal system… oh, and by the way, fire Betsy Devoss and replace her for someone who respects learners, not the privatization investors. But that’ll take another national election. Presidential is too-great a term to apply to anything related to our current imbroglio. IMHO, of course.

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