Vote on changing school times pushed back

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NAUGATUCK — The Board of Education will not vote on a proposal to change the times schools start this year.

Under the proposal, elementary schools would start at 9 a.m., intermediate schools would start at 8 a.m., and City Hill Middle School and Naugatuck High School would start at 8:30 a.m.

Currently, elementary schools start at 8:55 a.m., intermediate schools start at 8:25 a.m., the middle school starts at 7:55 a.m., and the high school starts at 7:30 a.m.

The plan, which is intended to help older students be more rested when they come to school, was met mostly with criticism at a public forum this month. Originally, the board’s School Start Time Committee planned to bring the proposal to the full board for a vote in December. However, that is no longer the case.

Board Vice Chairman Glenn Connan, who chairs the committee, said last week the committee wouldn’t be ready to bring it to a vote in December. He said the committee will meet on Wednesday to discuss the feedback from the forum and how to move forward with surveying students, parents, and educators.

“We want to see where parents stand, see where our students stand,” Connan told the board during its Nov. 10 meeting. “That’s why we are very, very interested in getting the surveys out.”

Officials originally planned to roll out the surveys early this month. However, the committee is working on the best way to get it to the most people and let people know what the proposal entails, Connan said.

Connan said rumors were circulating about what would happen if the start times changed that could make people view it unfavorably.

“One of the rumors was we were going cancel freshman sports. Nothing could be further from the truth. I think I can speak for the entire board when I say we are all committed to extracurricular activities and sports. Nobody wants to see anything cut,” Connan said.

Connan said a vote on the proposal could take place in January, but may be postponed to a later date.