School day start

After talking to other school administrators and considering several factors, Northgate School District’s superintendent is now recommending that the the start time for classes not be changed.

Dr. Reggie Bonfield earlier had told the school board to consider having classes start later in the middle-high school for several reasons. A change in the schedule at Beattie technical school next year threatened to put Northgate’s schedule out of sync, Bonfield said, and experts generally agree that older students learn better later in the morning. He also stated that a later start could help eliminate tardiness problems.

Bonfield told school board members at the April 13 committee of the whole meeting that administrators from other districts reported logistical problems when students and teachers left school at the same time, which would have occurred with the later student start. There were problems when students were not picked up by parents on time, and morning teacher meetings were limited by the clock, unlike those held after classes were through for the day.

Beattie has assured Northgate that students will be able to get enough hours in classes there despite the schedule change, Bonfield said, and the tardiness problem has all but disappeared, dropping from more than 100 students showing up late per day to less than 10 per day.

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