To the Editor:

Time to stop focusing on the negative impacts of changing school start/closing times on the 46% of RHS students who participate in sports — suffice to say a 3:20 school closing time may cause many students to either lose some seventh period classes or expect home return times for many away games to be 7:30 to 9 p.m.

Let’s focus on a separate subset of the RHS student community that will be impacted: after-school jobs.

Very simply put, many students have after-school work to help earn money for college and everyday expenses. The loss of one hour after school by simple mathematics will see a loss of five hours per week.

At a wage rate of $8-10 per hour, that is $40-$50 per week or $1440-$1800 per year. Very significant. That loss of one hour might even cost the student their job.

Then there’s after-school clubs.

RHS is blessed with upwards of 45 clubs with a very diverse range of student participation. It is hard to gauge the impact of a one-hour-later school closing on these activities, but suffice it to say there will be some. One, very notably, is the fact that there are teacher advisers for each of these clubs.

Teacher advisors who are currently (2:15 close) able to provide after-school time, may not be able to provide that same support with a 3:20 close due to family and personal obligations.

A correlation to these teacher comments on clubs is the impact of teacher time availability for after-school tutoring or student academic help. Once again, hard to quantify, but this should be a major area of concern.

If you are an affected/concerned parent, student, or Ridgefield stakeholder, it is time to make your concerns known to the School Board.

Stephen Cole