At Public School PS 58, also known as The Carroll School at 330 Smith Street, parents recently received a notice telling them that the elementary school has decided to start the school day at 8:00 and to dismiss the children at 2:20 PM at the start of the new school year in September.
The announcement has cause quite an uproar amongst the parents. Acting Principal Katie Dello Stritto and Acting Assistant Principal Annique Leman claim that the decision was made by the Board of Education. However, it is the understanding of the parents that it was left up to the individual schools. The parents claim that they were not consulted prior to the decision.
PS 58 Parent Paige Bellenbaum has started an online petition, which reads in part:
As I understand that this time change allows teachers the flexibility to add more small-group work and additional enrichment during the day, along with additional hours for communication with parents and professional development, I am deeply saddened by the fact that this decision was not subject to a public discussion inviting PS 58 parent feedback.
It is my understanding that schools have the ability to determine their starting time, and that our neighboring school, PS 29, has opted for an 8:30 AM arrival time.
Please understand that this change poses the following obstacles to many PS 58 parents:
- Quality family time with our children is challenging for working parents. Creating an earlier start time means that families lose a valuable 40 minutes together every morning to make it to school on time.
- Our children will need to go to bed earlier, leaving less time for homework, and again, less time together as a family.
- Many working parents have their children involved in afterschool activities which are costly as is. This shift will place even more of a financial hardship on parents.
As PS 58 parents, we applaud and admire the amazing education and care that you provide for our most prized possessions every day. Please include our concerns in this decision making process, please move the new arrival time up to 8:30 AM to accommodate the families of PS 58.Yesterday, the Acting Principal, PTA President and UFT Representative sent out the email below:
Dear PS 58 Families:We would like to update you on the current discussion concerning the school schedule. We, representatives from the school administration, the UFT and the PTA, have met and are evaluating possibilities and ways to mitigate the burden of any schedule change on families, teachers and staff.We would truly appreciate it if everyone could give us until the end of the week to get back to you. We value everyone's input, but additional comment at this point would be unproductive.There will be an update on Friday.
Thank you very much for your consideration,
Henry Carrier, President, PS 58 PTA
Robert Hansen, President-Elect, PS 58 PTA
Michael Leahy, President-Elect, PS 58 PTA
Katie Dello Stritto, Acting Principal, PS 58
Annique Leman, Assistant Principal, PS 58
Danielle Lehtinen, UFT Chapter Leader, PS 58
Dan Lupkin, UFT Delegate and Chapter Leader-Elect, Ps 58Obviously, there will be quite a discussion going on at PS58 before the end of the school year. Stay tuned. To access the online petition, click here.