BVSD Sent To The Inferno


Erin Fuller, Staff Writer

“Doesn’t it seem a little bit sneaky and slimy? And then they send all of you here, instead of them coming to face us…that doesn’t feel too good either.” said a aggravated parent.

Over 50 mostly inflamed parents, staff members, and students attended the meeting for the new start and end times for next year. No one in the room agreed in the slightest with the sudden change. Dr. Margaret Crespo, the Assistant Superintendent of School Leadership, was flooded with enraged questions and critical comments. The verbal outbursts were numerous,  so she quieted everyone and explained the process of the meeting.

There were five tables with two big pieces of paper. Each table stood for a different area of possible conflict with the change in start and end times: Athletics, Transportation and Logistics, Community, Academics, and Other. Attendees could add comments on the effects of these topics so the Board could see what conflicts would be specific to our school. This struck a new chord in the people, and the room was quickly filled with quiet, sarcastic jokes and more agreement that this meeting might not have been worth their time. The decision to change the start and end times was already put into action without the opinion of the actual schools, so many questioned if the Board would actually listen to what they have to say.

Isa Lovato (11) walked around with me, and we both added our own concerns to the posters. The posters were either organized with numbered problems, with the concern either explained briefly or very specifically, or problems were randomly scratched with the same verbal tone of the attendees. There were questions asking if the Board had thought about all of this. Extended vocabulary flooded the sentences. People needed more paper. “I appreciate the community coming out, and I just want to make sure that we’re listening and do what’s best,” said Principal Ramsey.

The Board made the decision to move the times because there are some studies that show more sleep improves grades. “One analysis combined data from six separate studies and found that in schools with later start times, students were less likely to experience depression, consumed less caffeine, were more likely to be on time to class, and were less likely to fall asleep during class. A second analysis of 38 studies found that delaying school start times helps young people to get significantly more sleep each night,” explains Psychology Today. “As a result, students’ attendance and grades improved and they were less likely to get into a car accident.” This is proven true by science and many studies over the years. Still, people questioned if pushing the end time will make this “more sleep” effect useful. Kids will be getting home later, which means the same or even less sleep than before.

Iris Stanfill (9) was clearly irritated. “I’m a member of the cross country team, and I’m quite frankly upset, and so is the rest of my team. We’re going to have to run outside in the dark and the cold every night,” she said. “How is this going to help train us to be future state champions?”

“If you are unhappy with the 4:05 end time, take a stand,” said Steff Frese, a concerned BHS parent. She agreed with the common theme of revolting and getting her voice heard. “Come to the School Board meeting on Tuesday, February 26th with a prepared statement and let them know. Write your School Board letters and tell them what you want to be changed. Ask for meeting with school Board members. Be an active advocate for your needs!”

For more background information, read Mia Gallego’s article.