School board reverses start times stance (VIDEO)

The Ridgefield Board of Education will not pursue later school start times for the 2019-20 school year.

The school board voted 6-1 at its meeting Monday night to rescind a 2017 motion that aimed to implement healthier school start times by the fall of 2019.

“I think you heard the board saying that at some point this could come back … but not at this point, not for 2019-20,” said Chairwoman Margaret Stamatis.

“It’s not an easy decision,” Stamatis said.

At Monday night’s meeting, 13 parents gave public comment about later school start times — 10 were against the Start School Later initiative, three were in favor.

One of the speakers asked for those who were against the proposal to stand up to show the board where the majority of Ridgefield parents — and taxpayers — stood on the issue. Forty six parents followed that request and rose up in front of the Board of Education and district administrators.

Stamatis said the board received 114 emails against later school start times and 18 emails for the initiative.

Carina Borgia Drake was the lone dissenting vote, with vice chairman Doug Silver and board member Jonathan Steckler both absent from the meeting.

Earlier in the meeting, it was revealed that one of the proposed scenarios to make later school start times possible would cost $2.77 million.

The board’s decision to rescind its 2017 motion and maintain the start times status quo — Ridgefield High School starts first at 7:25 a.m. followed by the two middle schools and then the six elementary schools — was met with a round of applause Monday night.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=HwlVoFRJy0E

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