Naugatuck Considers a Longer School Day

The school district in Naugatuck is considering starting school later in the day and believes the small change could have a big impact. 

During a special meeting the School Start Time Committee hosted Wednesday night, Glenn Connan, chair of the committee and vice chairman for the Naugatuck Board of Education, presented the proposal to more than 100 students and parents. 

The committee is made up of board of education members, students, parents and faculty and Connan highlighted research showing students who get more sleep do better and said delaying when school starts should help students get the sleep they need. 

"Test scores improve, grades improve, GPA improves, graduation rates improve, tardiness goes down, absenteeism goes down," Connan said. 

While some voiced their support during Wednesday night's meeting, the majority of those who spoke up called it a bad idea. 

"It's going to hurt our activities, our homework, and they push us to study. It's not going to give us a lot of time to study," said Faith Decrescenzo, who goes to Hill City Middle School. 

AA'Leiyah Petty, who attends Naugatuck High School, said a later start time would interfere with her schoolwork and with trying to get a job. 

"I'm trying to save up for a car, save up for college," Petty said. 

"I feel like I'll just be up later and more stressed out," said Alyssa Peterson, who attends Naugatuck High School and participates in school sports. 

Those opposed to the change said it'll make extracurricular activities and sports go on later. 

If the hours change, five buses would need to be added, potentially increasing expenses by $272,000. 

Those in favor of the move said the benefits outweigh the costs. 

Connan said, despite rumors going around it would not eliminate freshman sports. He would also like to add more sports, including lacrosse and field hockey. He also said starting later is safer because students won't be driving to school sleepy or standing by the bus stop in total darkness. 

Opponents said they feel the issue is being rushed and that not all the consequences are being considered. 

Working parents said they can't stay at home later to see their kids off to school. 

Parents and students will be able to take a survey and voice their opinions on the proposal. 

The board of education could take a vote on the issue as soon as Dec. 8 and a decision for the change would impact the 2017-18 school year. 

Officials stress that nothing is written in stone and that a decision may not be made at the next board of education meeting. 

They said they are taking everything said at Wednesday night's meeting under consideration.

Contact Us