To the Editor:

Science doesn’t typically start with a conclusion, then take in only data that supports the intended conclusion, but that’s exactly what we’re doing here in Ridgefield with regards to a misguided Start Schools Later initiative.

We’ve now seen the initial reports from Greenwich, showing lower grades and higher depression scores, as well as many unintended effects on sports, traffic and family life. It’s alarming.

During the April 23 meeting, we’ve now been told that in order to serve all students (not just RHS), we’ll need to return to a three-tier bus system. This will add millions of dollars to the school budget.

While I’m glad to hear the board finally agree that focusing on screen usage and revising the homework policies are a new priority, they’ve failed to delay the SSL program, which still carries an implementation timeline of fall 2019.

With the current vacuum of leadership, the current budget cutting posture, and the lack of community support for the program, I make one last call on the Board of Education to Delay the SSL program until we have a permanent Superintendent in place … Until we’ve got voter approval to add millions of dollars to the school budget … Until we’ve actually listened to the stakeholders, understood their concerns, and built a program that works for all students.

If the program is truly that important, it’s more important to do it properly.

Since the board has thus far failed to act, voting down the school budget is currently the only recourse that the voters have to ensure that their voice is being heard.

I urge the board to reconsider the timeline and vote to delay the SSL immediately. In the meantime, I call on voters to ensure that they’re heard at the ballot box.

Sean McEvoy

Peaceable Street, April 26