Big crowd expected at Barrington School Committee meeting

Why the big crowd? School start time change and budget are on agenda


Longtime Barrington resident Tom "TR" Rimoshytus said he anticipates a large crowd of people will attend the Barrington School Committee meeting tonight, Feb. 16.

Check out the meeting's agenda.

Mr. Rimoshytus said many people in town are concerned with the district's decision to change start times at the high school and middle school. He said some of the concerns are centered on the costs associated with the start time change. The shift to later start times will reportedly cost taxpayers $419,000 annually.

One of the first items on tonight's meeting agenda is the start time change, following directly by the proposed school budget and then a public comment period.

In a recent letter to the editor, Mr. Rimoshytus encouraged people to attend the Feb. 16 meeting, stating in part "I do not think the taxpayers should be paying a minimum of $417,000 to let our kids sleep later. Part of the issues with teens and sleep is technology. This has been documented in numerous recent publications. Perhaps we should begin with educating our students and parents about healthy sleep routines. After all, it is the business of the school department to educate kids, not parent them."

Currently, the high school starts classes at 7:45 a.m. and the middle school begins at 7:40. 

The school committee voted last year to push those times to 8:30 a.m. 

Tonight's meeting starts at 7 p.m. and will be held in the school committee room.


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I appreciate the concern about the cost, but there are several options that allow us to meet the sleep needs of teens and the scientific recommendations of HS starting no earlier than 8:30am. Bus stops can easily be condensed, as those of us who have found ourselves behind buses that stop every other block can attest. The suggested need for additional buses is due to the younger students taking more time to get on and off the buses, with less stops we can achieve similar results and likely don't need these extra buses. This would allow us to meet the medical recommendations, continue with the mission supported by the majority of parents in town, and continue with the plan voted on by the School Committee last year.

We could also shift the HMS and BHS/BMS start times, which again would mean no need for additional buses, no extra cost of bus monitors, and better meets the medical recommendations. While those opposed may not agree, this is actually an interesting option as that would be late enough that many sports teams could practice before school, leaving the afternoon free for other activities people have expressed concerns around, We know we can get 6 lanes at a local pool before school, a time when many competitive swim teams prefer to practice as well as ice rink time. I am aware those opposed will not see this as a viable option, but I am pointing out that the SC has several options to choose from that would meet the needs of students and not be a significant cost to the town taxpayers.

Thursday, February 16 | Report this

Last night it was made clear that certain members of the SC and of the community are FINE with kids walking home in pitch darkness just so they can push their agenda through. Mind boggling that they would think it was also FINE to have HMS start at 9:30 and that 4th and 5th graders would then be left to their own devices until they had to go to school if parents have to go work (don't know of many jobs where you get to start work that late??????). It's time for the silent majority to wake up and realize that this insanity has to stop! Please read this and realize that there are so many more FREE options. Removing electronics at bedtime is step 1 !

Friday, February 17 | Report this

Technology, 100% is the problem with middle and high school aged students not getting enough sleep. They sleep with their phones on, answer them throughout the night, and parents are not monitoring this as they should. Phones should be off by 9pm and in bed by 10pm. If a kid can't handle sports, a job and school work, plus get to bed on time, then sacrifices have to be made in order to get to bed on time. Kids can't have it all! When I was in high school about 15 years ago, start time was at 7:30. No one had any problems getting to school on time and doing well. This whole "scientific studies show..." is a bunch of bs. As adults, we are able to wake up early, go to work, be productive. We don't beg our bosses for a different start time. Would I love to start work later? Sure! It's just not how the real world works.

K-5 should start at 7:30 since they are up before the sun is up, and 6-12 should go in at 8:00. That way everyone will be happy.

Friday, February 17 | Report this

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