East Greenbush schools gathering input on later start times

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EAST GREENBUSH, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The East Greenbush Central School District held the first of three community forums to discuss changing school start times Tuesday night.

The first meeting was focused on the impact changing start times would have for kids at the elementary level, according to a letter sent to parents. Administrators are seeking feedback from parents and students which will be collected over a series of two more meetings and eventually presented to the Board of Education in December.

Columbia High School’s current start time is 7:10 a.m., which is the earliest in the Capital Region according to the school. Goff Middle School starts at 7:40 a.m. and Genet Elementary School starts at 8:40 a.m., while Red Mill, Donald P. Sutherland, Green Meadow and Bell Top Elementary Schools start at 9 a.m.

According to the district, a School Start Time Committee has been studying the issue of Columbia’s start time, which was brought to their attention as a problem by both parents and students, for the past year. The committee is focusing on the impact a later start time would have on educational outcomes and district operations.

The committee is comprised of students, teachers, staff, administrators, parents and Board of Education members. The intent of a later start time, according to the district, would be to improve the general welfare of students and the school community.

The second session is Thursday, November 7 at 6:30 p.m. in the auditorium at Columbia High School. The last session is Thursday, November 14 at 6:30 p.m. in the Goff Middle School cafeteria.

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