School Committee Approves 15 Minute Later Start Time


Alyssa Rosen

Start Time
Graphic/ Angela Pyne

Due to the nationwide push for later high school start times, Walpole High has pushed back the start time of the 2016-2017 school year from 7:15 to 7:30. Once the school committee approved the 7:30 start, Principal Stephen Imbusch rearranged the current schedule to accommodate the 15 minute change. First, he changed the school’s end time to 2:05, he cut each class down to 67 minutes apiece, and he took away three minutes from the original ten minute homeroom time.

The extra 15 minutes in the morning will give students more time to either sleep in, eat breakfast, or get ready for school. Imbusch said, “My hope is that it alleviates the rush in the morning and will potentially cut down on tardiness.”

The initial goal of the new time was to completely change the schedule to allow the high school to start after elementary schools. This plan met much opposition because it was just too difficult to end school at a reasonable hour and still afford the cost of buses. School Committee Chairperson Nancy Gallivan said, “The original plan would be very disruptive and would require a great deal of community conversation with young parents, the teachers’ union, and other districts.”

In addition to adjusting the start time, administration has also pushed back the time teachers must report to school by 10 minutes. Imbusch said, “Teachers currently have to be here from 7:10 to 2:20, and this time will move up to 7:20 to 2:30. So far, this adjustment has not yet met any negative feedback.”

The new schedule will also deduct one minute from each class on PLC and half days, making each class 61 minutes and 35 minutes respectively.

For the past few years, students asked the administration to consider later start times, but many may not have understood the strenuousness of such a task. Gallivan said, “What many do not know is that it took a great deal of work for Mr. Imbusch and his team to accomplish this proposal. It would have been much easier for him to say nothing could be done at all.”

Some students think the change  will not make much of a difference in their morning routines, while others are in favor of the  later start time.

Junior Liv DiPasca said, “I am really happy that school is starting 15 minutes later, especially since studies have shown a later start time can improve students’ grades.”