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The East Greenbush Central School District has begun studying Columbia High School’s start time and its impact on educational outcomes and district operations.

Columbia’s start time of 7:10 a.m., which is the earliest in the Capital Region, has been brought to the attention of district administrators as an issue by both parents and students. According to research, later school start times for adolescents may contribute to better physical and emotional health leading to improved academic outcomes for students.

An advisory committee of parents, staff members, students and Board of Education representatives has been formed and is reviewing available research, studying the current school schedule and the impact of potential alternative schedules on the entire school community, including the middle and elementary schools. (A change in the Columbia start and dismissal times could change the start and dismissal times of the other district schools.)

The purpose of this study is to determine if scheduling options which may improve the general welfare of our students are feasible and have the support of the school community.

This advisory committee has developed a survey that will be emailed to K-12 parents, Columbia students and all district staff on Monday, December 3. Through this survey, the committee is seeking to consider the viewpoints of all stakeholders to inform at least three proposals regarding school start time changes.

If a change in school start times were to happen, it would need to be recommended by the Superintendent of Schools and then approved by the Board of Education. Should a change in the current school schedules be approved, there would be no impact this school year. Additionally, it is not anticipated that there would be a change to the school schedule for the 2019-20 school year to permit sufficient time to ensure the study is complete and to provide families and staff with time to plan accordingly.

In addition to the survey responses we receive from parents, students and staff, practical considerations affecting the overall operations of the school district will be considered in such areas which include effective delivery of the K-12 instructional program, budgetary and financial considerations, transportation routes, interscholastic athletic schedules and extracurricular activities including clubs and sports.

Thank you in advance for taking the time to complete and submit the survey. The survey will be emailed on Monday, December 3 and will remain open until Friday, December 21.

High School Start Time Committee

  • Jeffrey Simons, Superintendent and Chairperson
  • John Dunn, Board of Education Member
  • Jim Giordano, Board of Education Member
  • Jennifer Massey, Board of Education Member
  • JoAnn Taylor, Board of Education Members
  • Jack Alvey, Donald P. Sutherland Elementary School Principal
  • MaryAnn Belmont, Transportation Supervisor
  • Paul Bickel, Director of Facilities
  • Marissa Cannon, Director of Human Resources
  • Muriel Church, Columbia High School Parent
  • Jennifer Cuttler, Green Meadow Teaching Assistant & Parent
  • Diane Cohen, Green Meadow Teacher
  • Chase Durivage, Columbia High School Grade 10 Student
  • Larry Edson, Assistant Superintendent for School Business Finance
  • Linda Furnari, Columbia High School Parent
  • Daniel Garab, Green Meadow Elementary School Principal
  • Wayne Grignon, Howard L. Goff Middle School Principal
  • Mark Halsey, Head Bus Driver
  • Laura Haney, Columbia High School Grade 12 Student
  • Michael Harkin, Columbia High School Principal
  • Alison Hosier, East Greenbush Teachers Association
  • Sarah Howard, Howard L. Goff Middle School Parent
  • Kevin Kelly, Civil Service Employees Association
  • Ed Kilmartin, Columbia High School Assistant Principal
  • Michael Leonard, Director of Physical Education, Health & Athletics
  • Lily Mahoney, Columbia High School Grade 11 Student
  • Laurie Marchiony, Howard L. Goff Middle School 8th Grade Parent
  • James McHugh, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction
  • Phyllis Sanford, School Lunch Manager
  • Ryan Seely, Columbia High School Grade 9 Student
  • Kelley Sheraw, Columbia High School Teacher
  • Fran Sprague, East Greenbush School Related Personnel