Schedule changes discussed

Published 9:43 pm Friday, January 12, 2018

The Suffolk School Board held a public input session on proposed school schedule changes before its regular meeting on Jan. 11.

The School Board heard suggestions from Superintendent Dr. Deran Whitney at the Dec. 14 meeting about changing the school schedule for the upcoming school year.

A handful of parents made it known that a different school schedule would impact them negatively.

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“I teach chemistry, and I am concerned that I will no longer be able to offer after-school tutoring,” said teacher Sharon Criner.

Another parent voiced concern because of the frequency of time changes that the School Board has implemented.

“This would be the third time change,” said James Jache. “Let’s pick a time and stick with it.”

The new times would have elementary schools starting at 8 a.m., middle schools starting at 7:25 a.m. and high schools starting at 9 a.m. These proposed changes would give more time between school arrivals for buses, and more time would allow for fewer drivers.

The school system cited the American Psychological Association for the benefits of a later start time for high school students. The benefits include increased academic performance, increased attendance and a decrease in disciplinary action.

The vote for the final plan is expected to take place at the 7 p.m. meeting March 8.

The School Board also voted on a new chairman and vice chairman at the regular meeting. Enoch Copeland from the Holy Neck Borough will be the new chairman, and Phyllis Byrum from the Whaleyville Borough will be the new vice chairman.

Copeland was formerly the vice chairman. He replaces Mike Debranski as chairman. Debranski still serves on the board.