New start and dismissal times were posted by the for its four elementary schools in another step towards making the plan to reorganize a reality.
After the original school budget failed in May, the school district went about implementing the Princeton Plan to save money. The Princeton Plan calls for going from four grade K-5 buildings to two grade K-2 buildings ( and ) and two grade 3-5 buildings ( and ).
See the new start and dismissal times in the chart below.
JFK Middle School
Information from Comsewogue School District.
About 5 percent of the people who responded to a questionnaire sent to homes in the district with elementary school-age children in May said that “re-structuring of our elementary schools – specifically start times – would be very difficult for them.” The district received about 75 percent of the questionnaires back.
On the district website, school Superintendent Joseph Rella outlined the reason why they went with the structuring of start times for the elementary schools. The school considered having sister schools start at the same time so that children in those neighborhoods and families with kids in both schools can have that same start times. Ultimately, the school decided against it and outlined its reasons.
Among the reasons were:
- All grade third through fifth grade school activities will be after school and in the “sister schools” structure, a late schools would eventually have students going home in the dark.
- The current structure is more cost effective when scheduling of shared teachers, staff development and grade level planning between the two schools.
- Buses are the primary location for discipline issues in elementary school and shared bussing between grades would make it more difficult to correct problems.
- Staggering the start times will make it more fair so that students in one set of sister schools does not always have the late start time throughout their elementary school careers.
For parents who need morning childcare the school offers the opportunity for students to be dropped off 35 minutes early to the school cafeteria for free. There is also a program in place for parents to drop off students up to 2 hours before school starts, although there is a charge per day and it is not subsidized by the district.
Superintendent Rella said in a statement on the school website that the restructuring plan was not one the school wanted but had to be put in place because the original budget failed.
"Had it been, we would have had funding for additional transportation, staffing, etc. built in so that some of the options that have been suggested might have been possible," he said.
The Princeton Plan will save about $1 million, according to Assistant Superintendent of Business Susan M. Casali.
For many families, the plan ends the convenience of having an elementary school close to home where a child can attend Kindergarten (and in some cases even pre-school) all the way to grade five without ever changing buildings.
to read a Q&A about some of the proposed changes in the Princeton Plan.
“I am well aware that everyone in the District is being affected by the re-structuring of our elementary schools,” said Rella. “There is no perfect plan. There is no plan that will satisfy everyone. We have been working to try to put a plan in place that will meet the needs of the largest number of families.”
What do you think about the new start and dismissal times at Comsewogue elementary schools? Tell us in the comments.
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