Published June 21, 2019
MELROSE — The academic year that wrapped up last week was the first one in Melrose where the high school and middle school began later.
Both schools began the day at 8:15 and ended about 2:40 in the afternoon.
Supt. Cyndy Taymore wrote a memo to the School Committee reviewing the time change.
“As of this year, Melrose is one of five Middlesex communities that made the change. The other four communities changed to start times that are the same or later than our start time (8:15): Burlington (HS: 8:35/MS: 7:35), Stoneham (HS 8:15), Winchester (HS and MS: 8:30), and Watertown (HS and MS: 8:30). Next year Belmont will start at 8:00 and Reading HS will start at 8:30 and the MS will start at 7:50.
“For students, the most significant impact has been the drop in the number of tardies at both the middle school: 7,852 down to 4,440 (- 43%). At the high school, the drop was from 9,910 to 8,212 tardies (-17.3%).
“No complaints regarding the later start time were received from students to administrators. There is some anecdotal evidence to concerns raised by the impact on traffic. Now that we start a half hour later, drop off occurs during the middle of the Parkway morning commuter traffic. I received one complaint from a parent regarding the impact of the later start time on her departure for work.
“Although five Middlesex League teams have changed their start and end times, there were still some unintentional consequences on athletics, including financial implications (mainly on rentals), student dismissals, cancelation and postponing of youth activities, coaches’ needing to adjust their professional and personal schedules, and loss of time in sub-varsity athletics. It is anticipated as more of the league districts shift to later start times, the impact will be normalized and adjustments can be made.
“Wrap around at the elementary schools was intended to provide supervision for students whose siblings escort them home after school. It turned into a replacement for the recently eliminated red line option for Education Stations. Because of the obvious desire by parents for that period of after school coverage, we will be presenting a new option to the School Committee later this month,” Taymore’s memo concluded.