DD2 postpones new bell schedule idea

  • Friday, June 13, 2014

Dorchester District Two board members are postponing the change in bell schedules for the schools.

At their May 12 meeting, school board members discussed the pros and cons of having high schoolers start their day later.

A discussion was led by Elena Furnari, director of high schools, who informed board members that she has conducted research that has led to the conclusion that high school students essentially perform better later in the day, and elementary students tucker out earlier and should therefore start earlier.

However, during the board meeting June 9, Assistant Superintendent Sean Alford reported that more than 6,000 people participated in a survey conducted by the district and even though the results were “overall favorable” for the new bell schedule, results also indicated some people had concerns about a later bell schedule interfering with high schoolers’ after-school activities such as athletics, extracurricular and employment.

“There were a number of things we feel we need to investigate,” Alford said.

Therefore board members felt it would be best to revisit the bell schedule.

Chairwoman Gail Hughes said she supported the idea.

“We will re-evaluate in December and move forward from there,” she said.

Right now high school students are dismissed at 2:55 p.m. The proposed schedule would have them being dropped off at 9 a.m., starting at 9:15 a.m. and leaving at 4:15 p.m.

The proposed bell schedule change includes minor changes for middle and elementary schools. Elementary schools would keep their 7 a.m. drop-off time but go from starting school at 7:25 a.m. to starting at 7:15 a.m. Their dismissal time would then be changed from 2:10 p.m. to 2:15 p.m.

Similarly, middle schools would keep their 8 a.m. drop-off time. Instead of starting at 8:30 a.m., they would start at 8:15 a.m. and be dismissed at 3:15 p.m. instead of 4 p.m.

Board members said they want to continue talking with with parents and the community, which is why DD2 is hosting a six-session parent education series. Visit http://www.journalscene.com/article/20140604/SJ06/140609907 for the complete schedule.

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