New Paltz seeks feedback on later start times for school day

(Photo by Dion Ogust)

(Photo by Dion Ogust)

Registration is now open for New Paltz school district’s upcoming focus groups on school start times. The school board has requested these sessions to invite feedback from parents, staff and students on potential benefits and challenges of changing school start times. The focus groups are just one of several outreach efforts that will be undertaken in the coming months, the district says.

“We’re always striving to provide our students the best possible learning environment,” schools superintendent Maria Rice said. “That means examining factors inside and outside the classroom that can impact student achievement. These focus groups are the beginning of a conversation about what schedule best serves our students.”

One session will be held for each participant group, with a maximum of 15 people per session. All three sessions will be held on Thursday, October 13. They are scheduled as follows: students: 2:30 to 3:30 p.m., Career Life Prep Center at New Paltz High School; staff: 4 to 5 p.m., District Office Conference Room at Lenape Elementary School; and parents: 7 to 8 p.m., District Office Conference Room at Lenape Elementary School.


The school district’s independent research partner, K12 Insight, is facilitating the registration process, participant selection, and focus-group discussions. Registration will close next Monday, October 9. “I encourage our stakeholders to get involved in this process,” said school board president Aimee Hemminger. “Lack of sleep has overarching effects on teens, and I believe our community members have valuable perspectives to share on this issue.”