Parents and school employees expressed forceful displeasure with a controversial plan to change the start times for Boston Public Schools at a packed meeting at the Mattapan Early Elementary School on Tuesday night. Officials say the plan has been put on a short pause to reassess whether the proposed changes themselves need to be overhauled.
In a Friday letter to BPS families, Superintendent Tommy Chang said he stands by the new approach, which calls for phased start times across the city’s 125 public schools beginning every 15 minutes between 7:15 a.m. and 9:30 a.m., but is open to suggestions.
The policy, passed by the School Committee on Dec. 6, prioritizes “starting secondary schools after 8 a.m., dismissing elementary school students before 4 p.m., prioritizing students with special needs and medical issues, reinvestment in classrooms, and before and after school programming,” according to Chang’s letter.
The three-hour evening meeting at the former Mattahunt school attracted about 100 stakeholders, many of whom who said the school department had demonstrated a lack of transparency and operated in “bad faith” when conducting outreach and evaluating the potential impact of the changes on local families.