Lucy Hartry: NHS Start Time Committee work progressing, school issue not ‘death by committee’
To the editor:
I write in response to your editorial, “A Northampton superintendent’s lost legacy,” (March 21).
Members of the NHS Start Time Committee take exception to your discussion of the issue of the changing the morning start time at Northampton High School. You state that outgoing Superintendent Brian Salzer “dragged his feet” on the issue and finally relegated it to a committee, an action which you characterized as “death by committee.”
This subcommittee was established by the full School Committee, and the 10 well-qualified members were selected by the mayor and superintendent. The committee has been meeting every week since Jan. 28 and members have also worked considerable hours outside of the meetings as well.
We are well-situated to complete the charge of the School Committee: “To investigate the implementation issues surrounding a later start time at the high school, including effects on budget, school start and end times district-wide, and any related topics (e.g. sports, transportation, coordination with Smith College).”
The sub-committee is to deliver its findings along with one or more proposals for a later start time for the high school at the May 9 full School Committee meeting.
We believe our hard work will not result in the death of the issue, but the complete opposite — thoroughly vetted, viable proposals, taking into consideration all related issues, so that our high school students are afforded the sleep they need, for a healthier and more productive academic experience.
Lucy Hartry is chairwoman of the NHS Start Time Committee, on whose behalf she wrote this letter.