Southampton schools conduct studies about new start time

Published 9:45 pm Thursday, January 22, 2015

Middle and high school students within the Southampton Public School District may start school later next year, pending input from the community and approval from the school board at a to-be-determined date. While school officials are simply in the preliminary stages of the potential change, Superintendent Dr. Alvera J. Parrish said that research, thus far, shows that teens are most productive when they start their school day later in the morning.

“Some of the benefits (of a delayed start) are in terms of getting prepared to be in class, focusing on learning, and they also have a little more productivity,” Parrish said.

All schools within the district, primary or secondary, begin the day at 8 a.m. However, Parrish believes that moving the start time could have a positive impact on the students.

“I think that education is always evolving,” she said. “The more research we’ve done, we’ve found out what is truly the best option.”

Before any final decisions are made, though, the district will encourage parents and other community members to give their input on the matter.

“We’re going to have the board members speak about it in public forums,” Parrish said. “We’re going to do all we can do to get the word out (about the forums) so that nobody is surprised when it happens and so that everyone has an opportunity to give their opinion.”

Ultimately, the school will send out a survey to parents and other stakeholders to help aid the school’s plan of action.

“This whole process is about getting input and discussion to hear the pros and cons,” Parrish said, “but we’re working toward having a decision by the end of this year.”