Supt. Playing WORD GAMES in answer to STEM 5th / 6th grade students going to school 2.5 hours a week less!

“I’m not an easy person to work with — if you look into my background I don’t allow School Committees to interfere with my work,” he said. “The beauty of me in all of this is you can go ahead and fire me any time you want. I’m ready to retire, so I don’t really care about any of the politics.”

I asked the question Are 5th and 6th graders at the Stem Academy going to school 90 hours a year less than other Middle School students?

I pointed out the school hours at the STEM Academy for the 5th& 6th graders at the Rogers School are
Early Bell: 9:10
Tardy Bell: 9:25
Dismissal Bell: 3:30. 6 hours 10 minutes

While School time at the Robinson for the 5th& 6th graders are
Early Bell: 7:20
Tardy Bell: 7:35
Dismissal Bell: 2:10 6 hours 40 minutes

The Wang for the 5th& 6th graders
Early Bell: 8:00
Tardy Bell: 8:15
Dismissal Bell: 2:50 6 hours 40 minutes

It it clear that they are so I asked this question: Why would you support offering a few students 90 hours a year less in education time?

I emailed Asst. Supt. Durkin who responded she would forward to the Supt. and I never received a response from him.

So I filed a formal Freedom of Information request and the response to my FOI was lacking specific requested information. I guess Principal’s at some schools disregard the FOI Law and this Supt. allows it!

Jackie Doherty followed up my questions with this SC motion:

The Supt. basic answer is because we added 5th and 6th graders at the STEM but never allowed for busing or time changes, we are sticking to the fact that since we call it an elementary school we are covered legally and I’m not admitting we made an error and unless instructed to change it are letting it continue.

No one EVER said it wasn’t legal, I just asked if we were short-changing students because of scheduling Incompetence by this Administration?

In fact I know you can offer split starting times if you designate the school elementary but have middle schoolers, because the law says so:

Q: Can a school housing grades 5-8 designate 5-6 elementary and 7-8 secondary?

A: No. The regulations require that the school committee designate every school as either an elementary or a secondary school. However, a middle school designated as an elementary school could choose to provide, for instance, 900 hours for the 5th and 6th grades, and 950 hours for the 7th and 8th grades, at the discretion of the school, as long as all students are scheduled to receive at least 900 hours of structured learning time.

We also already do it citywide, look at other schools that have “middle school” students with Elementary students, they have split schedules

The Pyne Art for instance has these hours.

Early Bell: 8:40 (5-8), 9:10 (PreK-4)
Tardy Bell: 8:55 (5-8), 9:25 (PreK-4)
Dismissal Bell: 3:30
Grades: PreK – 8

or the Bartlett School,
Early Bell: 7:20 (5-8), 7:50 (K-4)
Tardy Bell: 7:35 (5-8), 8:05 (K-4)
Dismissal Bell: 2:10

So from a students point of view it’s a good thing going 2.5 hours a week less but from a fairness point of view why does this school committee allow it?

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