At its recent regular meeting on Wednesday, June 7, the New Paltz Central School District Board of Education received an update from Superintendent of Schools Maria Rice regarding the ongoing School Start Time Initiative. The district is exploring the possibility of starting the school day later to ensure that middle and high school students can sleep later, maximizing their academic potential and keeping them in good health. The district’s proposal is based on medical research, with the Board of Education citing studies from the American Academy of Pediatrics to back up its argument.
Rice told the board that in conversations with Maureen Ryan, director of transportation for the district, she learned that there are possibly changes that could be made to the bus schedules that would result in as much as 30 minutes more sleep time for students in the mornings. The district has been aiming to gain 45 minutes. “Maureen is in the process of re-routing the entire schedule to gain as much time as possible. She thinks there is a possibility of gaining 30 minutes. It’s going to take a lot of work, but she’s optimistic.”
Students headed for BOCES programs in the morning as well as those going to private and parochial schools would not see any changes in their schedules.
Rice said Ryan will continue to work on the schedule, with the final results expected by the administrative leadership conference to be held in August. “I’ll bring those results to the board at that time,” Rice said, “and we’ll go from there.”
Changes are not likely to be made by the start of the next school year in September.