Barrington School Committee candidates weigh in on school start times

Barrington School Committee candidates weigh in on school start times


The Barrington Times will be asking candidates for Town Council and School Committee a question every week leading up to the Nov. 6 election. Candidates have a 40 word limit for responses. Here is the first question for School Committee candidates.

Without weighing cost as a factor, do you believe the school district should alter the start times at the schools, moving the high school start time later and elementary schools earlier?

PAULA DOMINGUEZ — “While a school committee’s primary responsibility is to maximize student success and adolescents do benefit from a later start, the public discussion has not been robust enough. I support holding a wider set of community conversations before making a decision.”

PATRICK GUIDA — “Fifteen years of scientific research affords persuasive evidence that later start times result in increased sleep time and more productive teenage students. That said, students and families must be afforded sufficient, additional opportunity to provide input before making any change.”

BOB SHEA — “I have consistently expressed commitment to our children’s physical, emotional and social well-being. The overwhelming, incontrovertible scientific evidence on sleep cycles, the sleep needs of adolescents, and the benefits of a later start require my continued championing of this change.”

CHRIS RAMSDEN — “No. I believe that there are initiatives (all-day kindergarten, teacher excellence, technology and parental involvement) that support enhanced student performance with less disruption to the district and families. The school committee should focus on these initiatives before shifting start times.”

MEAGHAN RAMSDEN — “Managing a day packed with classes and activities is a crucial developmental step for HS students. The responsibility for developing healthy sleep habits rests with students and their families. I am not convinced starting school later ensures better rested students.”