2 min readBy Published On: December 11th, 2017Categories: News6 Comments on For Whom the Bells Toll: BPS Start Times

UPDATE: An important community meeting will take place on Tuesday, December 19th from 6pm-8pm at the Condon School, 200 D Street.  All are encourage to attend. 

Last week, Boston Public Schools announced that there will be new start times for a majority of neighborhood schools for the 2018-2019 school year and boy oh boy was there push back from Boston parents.

Listing complaints from day care, to after school activities to time stuck in traffic on buses, parents are calling on school officials to not change start times. An online petition that was started after it was announced that 105 of the district’s 125 schools would see a time change. As of Monday morning, over 5000 signatures have been gathered and the number is continuing to rise by the hour.

The reason for the shifting schedules was due to research showing that high school kids benefit from a later start time (thanks to extra sleep) and elementary school kids would benefit with an earlier start time . The research was compiled feedback from community engagement. Superintendent Tommy Chang released a statement defending the decision. “Start times were changed due to an abundance of research that shows student outcomes improve when secondary school students start later and elementary school students start earlier. We believe that the new times will better serve students and be reflective of the feedback we’ve heard during our robust community engagement process, as well as reflect the new School Committee policy.”

The school committee also used an MIT research team that specializes in optimization to come up with a bus schedule. Transportation is a huge budget issue for BPS.

The most glaring contradiction is the Henderson School – which is a pre-k through high school – start time was changed  from 8:30am to 7:15am. Wait, what about the high school kids?

This makes us ask, is the time change really about “tired teens” in high school or about cutting spending on transportation?

The School Committee is meeting on Wednesday at 6pm at the Boiling Building – 2300 Washington Street, Roxbury.  All are encourage to attend.

The new start times are pending state approval, and they could change before the start of the school year. So we shall see.  You can view the new starts times here! 


  1. Not So New To The Hood December 11, 2017 at 10:42 am - Reply

    and people wonder why the U-18 population has shrunk every year, year over year for the last two decades?

  2. Chilly P December 11, 2017 at 10:56 pm - Reply

    I cringe when the article reads “neighborhood schools”. We all know that neighborhood schools do not exist anymore due to a busing experiment that happened 40 years ago. Kids at our school come from all over the city on busses that pick them up an hour before school starts. They arrive sound asleep and stay sleepy till around 9ish. I would love to see the return of neighborhood schools so all kids can walk together and parents can invest in after school activities. It would save the city millions of dollars a year to faze out busses that are 1/3 full of students that don’t live in their school community. It is a system that continues to cater to people who like making decisions that do not have any effect on their lives.

    • Not So New To The Hood December 12, 2017 at 10:59 am - Reply

      Although that brings us back to why busing was experimented with in the first place. There were financial barriers to living in certain neighborhoods, resulting in unequal advantages to the public school system. I don’t disagree with you, but just highlighting why kids are bused around these days.

      My suggestion is do your kids a favor & vote with your feet, move to the suburbs.

  3. Ed December 12, 2017 at 8:33 am - Reply

    An abundance of research?………be nice if they shared some of the logic/data here. It seems to me that just the opposite would be true. You can make research say anything you want it to.

  4. Proleau December 14, 2017 at 1:11 pm - Reply

    Our child has attended a school in Waltham since 2nd grade (wrapping up 9th grade now) which requires him to be en route by 6:45. He’s up by 6 if not sooner and now, given after-school activities, sports, etc., he’s not home until after 6pm. He has learned to maximize his time and we have ensured that he has a routine with enforced bed times. It has never been a problem or really much of a hardship. Kids can roll with the punches, but you have to set up routines and stick with them.

    • Chilly P December 15, 2017 at 12:54 pm - Reply

      Its not only about the students. Some parents cannot not physically do the schedule. They cannot be two places at once. Some kids will already be at school and off the busses at 6:45am which is comical. The other part is these early birds will now be dismissed at 1:05pm with little or no supervision at all. That can be pretty scary with the middle schoolers who’s parents are working till 5pm. Some parents will need to find new employment or supplemental jobs just to pay for after school programs. What I didn’t understand was how they rescheduled elementary school around high school schedules because of transportation. The high school kids don’t even use the school busses. BPS has failed both parents and the students with this proposal. God help us all.

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