Superintendent Fleishman’s Commencement Speech Controversy

New Start Time for Newton Elementary Schools

August 14, 2015

Dear Families,

I hope you have enjoyed the summer and are looking forward a new school year. I am writing with an important update about the elementary school start time for 2015-2016.

In a letter sent home to families in June, we announced a new start time for all Newton elementary schools, with the first bell at 8:20 and second bell at 8:25. This change was designed to maximize academic and social and emotional learning time and have consistent start times and attendance practices in all elementary schools.

Following the June letter, we received extensive feedback, primarily expressing concern that we were not providing our youngest students with adequate time between the opening of school doors and the official start of the school day. We have heard your comments and concerns and are taking preliminary steps to adopt a more viable, short-term solution.

Therefore, we will adopt the following elementary school start time for the 2015-2016 school year: The school doors for ALL elementary buildings will open at 8:20 a.m., the day will begin promptly at 8:30 a.m. and attendance will be taken at that time. We thank you in advance for your full cooperation to ensure students arrive on time and move quickly into classrooms, ready to begin the school day. Minimizing traffic by having students walk or take the bus to school will be most helpful as we start the school year.

We understand the concerns of families and staff, and will continue to explore options for an elementary school day schedule that meets the academic needs of our school communities while ensuring the safety of students. We will also check in with principals over the course of the year regarding the impact of this change.

I apologize for any confusion about these changes. You can expect your child’s principal to provide further arrival details by the end the month. Thank you for your continued patience and support, and we look forward to working with you to ensure a positive and productive school year.

Sincerely,

David A. Fleishman
Superintendent of Schools

Superintendent Fleishman’s Commencement Speech Controversy

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