Monthly Archives: December, 2015

2016 Curbside Collection Calendar

The 2016 Curbside Solid Waste and Recycling Collection Schedule is now available! This schedule (see below) will be mailed out to Melrose residents very soon.

Curbside Collection Calendar 2016 reduced

You can download a larger version here.

Holiday Reminder: Trash & Recycling Schedule

Curbside Collection Schedule
The Public Works Department reminds residents that there will be no curbside collection on Friday, January 1 due to the New Year’s Holiday. Friday’s trash and recycling routes will be picked up on Saturday, January 2. (Curbside collection of recycling and trash will be on a normal schedule through Thursday, December 30.)

Curbside collection of Christmas trees will occur on the same day as trash and recycling for the next 3 weeks, beginning on Monday, December 28th and continuing through Friday, January 15.

Recycling Center (City Yard) Hours
The Recycling Center (City Yard) at 72 Tremont Street will be closing at 11:45 a.m. on Thursday, December 31 and will remain closed through the weekend. We will be open during regular weekday hours of 7:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. this Monday through Wednesday.

For updates, check the Melrose Recycles blog.

Updated Snow Manual

Here is the 2015-6 Snow Manual produced by our Department of Public Works. I encourage you to download and read it—it has useful information about how the City of Melrose goes about dealing with snow and ice.

Winter Farmers’ Market Is this Sunday

The Melrose-Wakefield Winter Farmers’ Market is this Sunday, December 20, from 11 a.m.-3pm, Memorial Hall, 590 Main St., Melrose

Check out the list of who is at the market from our List of Vendors.

Bring your knives because On the Edge Knife will be outside of Memorial Hall and will sharpen your knives while you shop!

We will have 3 vegetable farmers, 2 meat farmers, fish, and cheese…

Then there’s wine, hard cider, teas, pasta, breads, spices, salts, salsas, popovers, jams, Lebanese & Egyptian dips..

And for dessert, cheese cake, pies, brownies, cookies…

There’s even something for the dog!

This is a joint market between the Melrose/Sally Frank’s Farmers’ Market and the Wakefield Farmer’s Market—check out the websites!

See you at the market!

Middlesex Fells StoryWalk Starts This Weekend

It's WinterIt’s Winter by Linda Glaser is our next StoryWalk™. What a great way to combine literature, exercise, and family fun!  The book combines a cheerfully illustrated song of praise to winter with a pinch of science. The text begins with thoughts and feelings of winter: the joy of catching snowflakes on the tongue, the anticipation of wondering just how much snow will fall, and the warmth generated by making snow angels and building snowmen. In addition to the fun, there are descriptions of several creatures’ hibernation habits, creatively illustrated in cross sections showing the insides of underground and underwater hiding places. A list of suggested nature activities adds to the scientific focus. The intricate, brightly colored cut-paper-and-paint illustrations evoke the crispness of winter and are simply fun to look at. Dress warm and enjoy. The StoryWalk™ is a collaboration of the Friends of the Middlesex Fells Reservation, MA Department of Conservation and Recreation, Mass in Motion, Medford Family Network and the North Suburban Child and Family Resource Network. The walk will begin at Greenwood Park, in Stoneham (across from the Stone Zoo), and will continue along the Crystal Springs Trail in an easy, 1/3-mile loop.

Foster your child’s connection with nature as well as their literacy skills by participating in our StoryWalk™ in the Fells!

The StoryWalk™ Project was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, VT and developed in collaboration with the Vermont Bicycle & Pedestrian Coalition and the Kellogg Hubbard Library.

Melrose Schools Get Great Results on PARCC Tests

Superintendent Cyndy Taymore is pleased to announce that Melrose Public Schools received positive results from the 2015 Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessment, with five out of seven schools in the district earning the highest performance classification for their scores, or Level 1.

Results from the assessment indicated that the Melrose Public Schools are increasing their student growth percentile and composite performance index (a measure of the extent to which students are progressing toward proficiency) across English Language Arts (ELA) and math in grades three through eight.

The Lincoln Elementary School was named a 2015 National Blue Ribbon School by the Department of Education for achieving superior standards of academic excellence and closing the achievement gap.

Additionally, the Hoover Elementary School was commended for the second year in a row for high progress and narrowing proficiency gaps.

The Winthrop Elementary School was commended for the first time for high progress and meeting their gap-closing goals.

Melrose is the only community in Massachusetts with three “commended” schools in the same district.

“I’m tremendously proud of the progress each of our schools has made. This was the first time our students took the PARCC exam and their performance is a reflection of their hard work and the hard work and tireless dedication of the faculty and staff here in Melrose.,” Superintendent Taymore said. “We are not done learning, however. We will continue to work to ensure the Melrose Public School district provides a world class educational experience for all of our students.”

Schools statewide are classified into levels 1 through 5. Those that met their gap-narrowing goals were designated as a level 1 and those that require additional assistance were placed in levels 3, 4, and 5.

Superintendent Taymore did not have students at Melrose High School take the PAARC exam, as passing its equivalent, the MCAS is required for graduation. MHS, however, did earn a level 1 status for students’ performances on the MCAS.

Melrose schools earned the following designations based on their scores on PARCC and MCAS:

• Hoover School: Level 1
• Lincoln School: Level 1
• Roosevelt School: Level 1
• Winthrop School: Level 1
• Melrose High School: Level 1
• Melrose Middle School: Level 2
• Horace Mann School: Level 3

While the Horace Mann School remained at a level 3 this year, it showed significant improvement. Averaging out the results, Horace Mann is expected to become a level 2 school next year.

Results from 2014 to 2015 at Horace Mann illustrated that the composite performance index in the “all students” category increased 18 points (from 61 to 79), meeting the school’s target goal. Additionally, all grades earned an “Average/Above Average” score in Math and ELA.

“The Horace Mann School has shown remarkable progress,” Superintendent Taymore said. “We are confident that this growth will continue and that the school will rise to level 2 next year.”

All five of the district’s elementary schools, along with the Melrose Veterans Memorial Middle School, took the pilot exam during the 2014-2015 school year.

​The district will participate in PARCC again this year. It is expected that a new exam, MCAS 2.0, will be implemented by the state in 2017.​

Temple Beth Shalom to Host Christmas Dinner at Green Street Baptist Church

Temple Beth Shalom annual Christmas dinner will take place at Green Street Baptist Church in Melrose on Fri., Dec. 25, at 12:30 p.m. with dinner served at 1:30 p.m. “This Christmas, we will once again serve a wonderful, festive holiday meal to anyone in the greater Melrose community who wants to attend. We welcome the elderly, the disabled, families, singles—anyone who wants to be with us on Christmas Day. We shop, decorate, pick up guests who need transportation, cook, serve, provide music, and clean up—and all those tasks need volunteers,” says Rabbi Arnie Fertig.

For more details contact Ruth Greenholtz at rgrnhlz@gmail.com.

The Temple is located at 21 East Foster St., Melrose. For more information, visit the Temple’s web site at www.tbsma.org or email rabbiallison@gmail.com.

Melrose Signs Community Compact

Community Compact 3

Lt. Governor Karyn Polito visited Melrose on December 15 to sign a Community Compact agreement with Mayor Robert J. Dolan at Memorial Hall.

Community Compacts are a new tool the Baker/Polito administration is utilizing to strengthen the partnership between cities and towns and the Commonwealth. By entering into a Community Compact, a community agrees to implement self-selected best practices. As part of this partnership, the Commonwealth agrees to fulfill a set of commitments and works to provide assistance for a community based on their chosen best practices.

“I am pleased to begin this partnership with Governor Baker and Lt. Governor Polito to help identify and enhance best practices in these crucial areas of local government,” said Dolan. “By signing this agreement, Melrose will be eligible for incentives including Commonwealth technical assistance resources, extra points on grants, and a grant program specifically for Compact communities. This is crucial moving forward to continue being a regional leader in these areas as funding sources decrease.”

The City of Melrose applied for the Community Compact in the following three areas, requesting grant funding or state technical assistance:

1) Complete Streets Certification Program

In an effort to get more residents walking and biking in the City, the City of Melrose is pursuing certification under the Complete Streets program established by the Commonwealth. Melrose is a city with neighborhood schools where many children walk and also has a very active Bike and Pedestrian Advisory Committee. With three commuter rail stations and Oak Grove, many residents walk and bike to these stations for work.

2) Renewable Energy Opportunities

The City of Melrose is exploring two renewable energy projects—rooftop solar on our Department of Public Works building and a solar canopy at the Melrose High School parking lot. 

3) IT Cyber Safety

The City of Melrose currently manages a regional IT model where we host IT services for Melrose, Town of Essex, and also Town of Saugus. With the ever increasing risk of cyber-attacks, the City of Melrose would like to complete a safety audit of our systems.

Community Compact 2

Community Compact 1

Late Start Task Force Reports

The Late Start Task Force made its report to the School Committee last night, and I wanted to share this information with you. This is a very important decision that will affect all our students. Below are two reports on two different scenarios.

Report on Impact of Changing Start Time: Scenario #1

Based on research on the impact of later start times for adolescents, the Melrose School Committee has requested the task force to consider two possible scenarios: a 35 min. shift in start times for all schools K­12 and a 35 min. shift for secondary schools with a slight shift to an earlier start time for elementary schools. The School Committee has requested the task force present the impact of such a shift.

35 Minute shift for all schools to a later start time would have the following impact:
Middle School: 8:15-­2:40
High School: 8:20­-2:45
Elementary Schools: 8:50­-2:57

Academic Schedules

  • MVMMS & MHS – see times above. Schedules would remain largely aligned and sharing of resources would continue
  • Elementary Start Time​­ – see above
  • ECC Start Time​­ – would not change and varying start times are used for varying programs
  • Required time frames for standardized testing­ – AP exams are required to start at
    8:00 AM and students and staff would need to make arrangements on those days.
  • Competency based learning​ -­ Shifting classes at the HS 35 minutes later would
    restrict the amount of time students would have to potentially complete required on HS campus morning classes before participating in off HS campus college institution classes. Online classes could be expanded to allow greater use of flexible time, but would also require staffing with flexible schedules or staggered work schedules which is subject to collective bargaining.
  • Consider Early Release times shifting to late start for secondary campus

Before School

  • Early Bird Programs at Elementary Schools -​­ Before school programs for Elementary students, which are all individually run by each school, would need to be prepared to handle an increased amount of students for a longer period of time. While most before school program enrollment does not exceed 30­40 students, the supervision is limited in time, typically about 30 minutes. If that quantity of
    students remains the same or even increases, the demand for staff and the need for a more structured and less supervisory program will result in an increased cost for parents. (approximately doubling the cost for those currently paying and adding a cost for those who never previously required it).
  • Middle School Before School/Breakfast -​­ The MS offers breakfast that is supervised by school staff in the café from 7:00­7:30 AM when students go to homeroom. The only cost is the cost of breakfast. With a later start time, more students would be expected during this time increasing the demand for supervision, this would require paying a staff member for additional time.
  • Extra Help and Enrichment Programs -​­ Before School options could potentially be expanded for extra help and enrichment programs for the elementary schools. For the secondary campus, for those students who are willing to come in early, clubs and activities could meet before school.
  • Family Schedules​­ – Families would obviously need to make considerations for dropping their children off for a longer period of time before school begins, or choosing to leave their children at home in the morning to come to school on their own. While some other families may need to adjust work start time based on school start time.
  • Breakfast Program​­ – Little impact would be expected and it may actually increase participation in MS and Lincoln breakfast program due to the increase of students at school before school begins.
  • Staff with before school child care obligations​­ – Staff might be able to lessen their need for before school care, while an increase in the need for afterschool care could become present.

​​After School

  • Education Stations Schedule​­ – The task force recognized this as an area of
    concern and need for the city and its residents. While school start time might change, parent and guardian work schedules do not. Educations Stations is prepared to handle a 35 Min. shift made to accommodate needs. This would likely have some decrease in revenue as a few parents would no longer need after school care, but that need/revenue would likely shift to before school care.
  • Professional Development​­ – This would shift 35 minutes later. Normally a 1 hour session would be 2:45­3:45PM for Elementary staff. These would then be finishing at 4:20 PM for 60 Min. sessions or 5:20 PM for 2 hour sessions.
  • Education Stations’ employees​­ – No impact on scheduling but reduced hours available to staff as program will run for 30 minutes less.
  • Faculty meetings and after school help​­ – Faculty meetings at the secondary campus would shift 35 minutes later. Elementary Staff meetings could discuss a before school options for some.
  • Extracurricular clubs and competition​­ – Student activities such as math teams and robotics teams would need to be dismissed from school around 2:00 PM in order to participate in most events, missing most of their last period class.
  • Students who work after school​­ – Students would see a reduction on work hours available to them as they simply cannot just shift their current schedules
  • Businesses that depend on student workers​­ – There seems to be little concern from the Business community about this.
  • Businesses that rely on student participants​­ – Karate, Dance, and other local businesses would see a loss in a time slot for most student groups, decreasing their current revenue with little opportunity to shift it or make up for it.
  • Staff with after school child care obligations -​­ Staff would need to make personal arrangements, incurring added costs
  • Staff attending graduate school and/or off site professional development​­ – Most graduate courses in education programs offered at area institutions begin at 4:30 PM, with some at 7 PM. The 4:30 PM time slot may become a barrier to staff, especially at the elementary level and on those days which require an after school meeting.
  • Staff with second jobs​­ – There would be an impact on staff with second jobs. In particular, those who coach in neighboring districts. Some staff may need to consider options and make choices.

Transportation

  • METCO transportation -​­ With a 35 minute shift, the METCO transportation
    schedule would likely need to remain unchanged. Given traffic patterns, the busses would need to still do pickup at the same time. There would be more than a 35 minute shift going home because of increased traffic in the afternoon given the route and destinations. This would have a negative impact on our METCO students as it would not allow them to benefit from added sleep and would have them returning home at a later time. The bus for MS/HS students starts its morning run at 6:30 AM and completes its current schedule around 4:00 PM. The Elementary bus begins its morning run at 6:40 AM and completes the afternoon run around 4:20 PM. A 35 minute shift would have those times in the afternoon estimated to be 4:45 PM for the MS/HS bus and 5:15 PM for the Elementary bus.
  • METCO Late Transportation – Van drivers use district vans to transport METCO students participating in HS after school athletics and activities. Currently, when students require transportation after 7PM, no drivers are available. An increase in students requiring transportation after 7PM would require additional drivers at greater cost or more students taking the T home.
  • SPED transportation -​­ A​pproximately 40 students are provided in district transportation and several more are transported outside of the district. Our Special Education office uses our district vehicles and drivers as much as possible, supplementing with contracted services for transportation from private companies for the remaining needs. The coordination of multiple runs per day to schools in the city and outside of the city is a matrix. Shifts in school starts times in district will impact the district’s ability to use district vehicles and drivers to transport students to out of district schools potentially causing a need for more contracted transportation. The transportation schedule changes every year, based on school placements so it is challenging to predict at this time what the exact impact would be.

Athletics/Facilities

  • Home games – ​­H​ome start times could shift a little later but this would then impact the use of facilities and fields by the community and recreation dept.
  • Practices -​­ Practices would shift 35 min. later and result in field and gym usage by community and recreation dept. as late as 7:45PM., particularly in winter and spring.
  • Away competitions and travel time​­ – O​ur buses are normally scheduled between 2:30 PM and 2:45 PM in order to make a 3:45 PM game or match. Bus times would have to be moved to 3:00 PM so that student/athletes would have enough time to get to the bus and coaches could fulfill their contractual obligations. It would be tight to arrive on time and allow student/athletes enough time to participate in a proper warm up. Away teams set their times in order to accommodate their community and recreational needs.
  • Daylight saving impact on fall sports​­ – D​aylight saving time would not impact the later dismissal time since we have lights on our playing fields.
  • Facility usage by community & Recreation Department programs at middle/high school facilities -​­ W​ith 35 Minute shift in end time for schools, the athletics and after school schedules would shift as well. This then moves the use of the same facilities by community groups, Recreation department and potential rentals of facilities to a later time, potentially losing rental income for the district. It is unlikely that community use of facilities could be shifted to before school to make up for any lost time. Youth groups are often the ones using the field and gyms later in the evening and it is doubtful the community would support elementary and middle school aged children out until 10 PM for athletics during the week. The groups have already expressed that they last time slot is as late as they could go which means not a 35 minute shift but rather a loss of one hour of community use as they would maintain their current end times (8PM or 9PM)
  • Current use of external facilities – ­ Swimming (boys) & Ice Hockey (boys and girls) ­ ​Start times for Boys Swimming is currently 2:30 PM at Melrose Y. This would need to be shifted with Melrose Y. Ice time for practices varsity hockey boys and girls begins at 3:00 PM and this may need to shift as well. Flynn Rink is used by regularly by Melrose, Winchester, and Medford. A committee exists for managing ice time priority.

Contractual Implications

  • Crossing Guards Schedules ­​- Schedules could be shifted but would require coordination with St. Mary’s and discussions with the DCR at the state level.
  • Union Contracts (teachers, paras, secretaries, drivers)​­ – All bargaining units would need to agree to such a change in time. There is currently little support by the MTA for such a change although none has been proposed or discussed formally. As with any contract change, it is subject to collective bargaining and therefore part of a negotiation.

Fiscal Implications

  • Building Rentals – ­​There would be a loss in building rental revenue as youth groups and recreation department programs would lose an hour off their programming opportunities in many gyms and fields due to later completion times of High School sports.
  • Education Stations­ – T​here would need to be a reduction in cost for offering 35 minutes less of programming. This would ultimately reduce the revenue generated by Ed. Stations for the district. Considerations for having Ed. Stations run before school programs could be reviewed but staffing would be altered, cost structure, etc. would need to be figured out. It is unlikely that any increase in before school programming would make up a difference for after school care decreases.

Middlesex League High School Start and Finish Times for 2015-­2016:

Arlington: 8:00-­2:26
Belmont: 7:35­-2:25
Burlington: 7:38­-2:00
Lexington: 7:45­-2:25
Melrose: 7:45­-2:09
Reading: 7:30­-2:11
Stoneham: 7:40-­2:26
Wakefield: 7:30­-2:05
Watertown: 7:55-­2:30
Wilmington: 7:40­-2:05
Winchester: 7:45­-2:15
Woburn: 7:30­-2:00

There are groups formulating in Reading, Winchester, and Belmont, in order to research and explore the possibilities of changing their secondary school start times. It is unknown about the progress of these groups.

When researching local school districts who have made changes to start later for secondary students, the following districts stood out for their recent changes. It should be noted that most of these High Schools previously began school between 7:20 a.m. and 7:45 a.m.

  • Arlington High School: 8:00 a.m.–2:26 p.m.
  • Duxbury High School: Now 8:20 a.m.-2:45 p.m.
  • Hingham High School: Now 8 a.m.-2:32 p.m.
  • Marblehead High School: Now 7:55 a.m.-­2:30 p.m.
  • AMSA Charter School Marlborough starts its first class at 8:15 a.m. (homeroom at 8:05 a.m.).
  • Medway High School: Now 8:04 a.m.-2:31 p.m.
  • ​Nauset High School: Now 8:35 a.m.-2:57 p.m.
  • Sharon Public Schools: Now SHS 8:05 a.m. – 2:39 p.m. & SMS moved earlier to 7:40 a.m.­2:10 p.m

 

Report on Impact of Changing Start Time: Scenario #2

Based on research on the impact of later start times for adolescents, the Melrose School Committee has requested the task force to consider two possible scenarios: a ​35 min. shift in start times for all schools K-­12 a​nd a​ 35 min. shift for secondary schools with a slight shift to an earlier start time for elementary schools.​ The School Committee has requested the task force present the impact of such a shift.

35 Minute shift for secondary schools to a later start time but a slight shift to an earlier start time (7 Min.) for Elementary Schools would have the following impact.

Middle School: 8:15­-2:40
High School: 8:20-­2:45
Elementary Schools: 8:03­-2:30

Academic Schedules

  • MVMMS & MHS – ­​see times above. Schedules would remain largely aligned and sharing of resources would continue
  • Elementary Start Time​­ – see above
  • ECC Start Time​­ – would not change and varying start times are used for varying
    programs
  • Required time frames for standardized testing – AP exams are required to start at 8:00 AM and students and staff would need to make arrangements on those days.
  • Competency based learning​ -­ Shifting classes at the HS 35 minutes later would
    restrict the amount of time students would have to potentially complete required on HS campus morning classes before participating in off HS campus college institution classes. Online classes could be expanded to allow greater use of flexible time, but would also require staffing with flexible schedules or staggered work schedules which is subject to collective bargaining.
  • Consider Early Release times shifting to late start for secondary campus

Before School

  • Early Bird Programs at Elementary Schools​­ – There would be little change expected and possibly slightly less participation because of older siblings now able to bring students to school.
  • Middle School Before School/Breakfast​­ – The MS offers breakfast that is supervised by school staff in the café from 7:00­7:30 AM when students go to homeroom. The only cost is the cost of breakfast. With a later start time, more students would be expected during this time increasing the demand for supervision, this would require paying a staff member for additional time.
  • Extra Help and Enrichment Programs​­ – For the secondary campus, for those students who are willing to come in early, clubs and activities could meet before school.
  • Family Schedules​­ – Families would obviously need to make considerations for dropping their children off for a longer period of time before school begins, or choosing to leave their children at home in the morning to come to school on their own. While some other families may need to adjust work start time based on school start time. This would have little impact on families of Elementary students.
  • Breakfast Program -​­ Little impact would be expected at Lincoln and it may actually increase participation in MS breakfast program due to the increase of students at school before school begins.
  • Staff with before school child care obligations -​­ Secondary Staff might be able to lessen their need for before school care, while an increase in the need for afterschool care could be present.

After School

  • Education Stations Schedule​­ – The task force recognized this as an area of concern and need for the city and its residents. While school start time might change, parent and guardian work schedules do not. With little change in Elementary start times Educations Stations is prepared to handle any slight shift. However, the HS student staff would not be as available for Education Stations with the start of shifts.​
  • Professional Development​­ – This would shift 35 minutes later for Secondary Staff. Normally a 1 hour session would be 2:30­3:30 PM for Secondary staff but many sessions are 2 hours finishing at 4:30. These would then be finishing at 4:05 PM for 1 hour sessions or 5:05 PM for 2 hour sessions. Elementary PD times would likely remain the same time, however considerations for the location of this PD would need to be made. Currently locations at the HS and MS are used for the majority of Elementary PD. If those sessions were still starting at 2:45, as they currently do, it would be challenging for space, parking and traffic. These sessions may need to be shifted off site or start later when the secondary PD sessions would begin.
  • Education Stations employees -​­ No impact on scheduling but reduced hours available to HS staff as program will begin before they are available.
  • Faculty meetings and after school help​­ – Faculty meetings on the secondary campus would shift 35 minutes later. Secondary schools could consider before school extra help sessions. Little to no change for Elementary staff meetings.
  • Extracurricular clubs and competition​­ – Student activities such as math teams and robotics teams would need to be dismissed from school around 2:00 PM in order to participate in most events, missing most of their last period class. While these are not regular occurrences, they do happen with varying frequency depending upon the club/team.
  • Students who work after school​­ – Students would see a reduction on work hours available to them as they simply cannot just shift their current schedules.
  • Older Siblings who care for younger siblings – ­​Having only the secondary campus start later would impact the families who rely on older siblings to care for younger siblings at the elementary level. These older students would not be able to get to schools in time and this would require families to seek care elsewhere, possibly incurring added expenses.
  • Businesses that depend on student workers​­ – There seems to be little concern from the Business community about this.
  • Businesses that rely on student participants -​­ Karate, Dance classes, etc. for Elementary students would likely remain the same. Businesses would need to consider scheduling such classes for older students to the later times for early evening and even later in their schedules.
  • Staff with after school child care obligations​­ – Secondary Staff would need to make personal arrangements, potentially incurring added costs.
  • Staff attending graduate school and/or off site professional development -​­ Most graduate courses in education programs offered at area institutions begin at 4:30 PM, with some at 7 PM. The 4:30 PM time slot may become a barrier to staff at the secondary level.
  • Staff with second jobs​­ – There would be an impact on staff with second jobs. In particular, those who coach in neighboring districts. Some staff may need to consider options and make choices. Elementary staff who coach at the HS, would likely find these changes more helpful as practices and games would start later.

​​Transportation

  • METCO transportation​­ – With a 35 minute shift, the METCO transportation schedule would likely need to remain unchanged. Given traffic patterns, the busses would need to still do pickup at the same time. There would be more than a 35 minute shift going home because of increased traffic in the afternoon given the route and destinations. This would have a negative impact on our METCO students as it would not allow them to benefit from added sleep and would have them returning home at a later time. The bus for MS/HS students starts its morning run at 6:30 AM and completes its current schedule around 4:00 PM. The Elementary bus begins its morning run at 6:40 AM and completes the afternoon run around 4:20 PM. Elementary bus would not be impacted. A 35 minute shift would have those times in the afternoon estimated to be 4:45 PM for the MS/HS bus. Some secondary siblings pick up elementary siblings and arrangements would need to be made.
  • METCO Late Transportation​­ – Van drivers use district vans to transport METCO students participating in HS after school athletics and activities. Currently, when students require transportation after 7PM, no drivers are available. An increase in students requiring transportation after 7PM would require additional drivers at greater cost or more students taking the T home.
  • SPED transportation​­ – A​pproximately 40 students are currently provided in district transportation and others are transported outside of the district. Our Special Education office uses our district vehicles and drivers as much as possible, supplementing with contracted services for transportation from private companies for the remaining needs. The coordination of multiple runs per day to schools in the city and outside of the city is a matrix. Shifts in school starts times in district will impact the district’s ability to use district vehicles and drivers to transport students to out of district schools potentially causing a need for more contracted transportation. The transportation schedule changes every year, based on school placements so it is challenging to predict at this time what the exact impact would be.​Shifting Secondary campus transportation only, would require a re­evaluation of schedules of in­district vans.

Athletics/Facilities

  • Home games – ​­H​ome start times could shift a little later but this would then impact the use of facilities and fields by the community and recreation dept.
  • Practices -​­ Practices would shift 35 min. later and result in field and gym usage
    by community and recreation dept. as late as 7:45PM., particularly in winter and
    spring.
  • Away competitions and travel time​­ – O​ur buses are normally scheduled between 2:30 PM and 2:45 PM in order to make a 3:45 PM game or match. Bus times would have to be moved to 3:00 PM so that student/athletes would have enough time to get to the bus and coaches could fulfill their contractual obligations. It would be tight to arrive on time and allow student/athletes enough time to participate in a proper warm up. Away teams set the their times in order to accommodate their community and recreational needs.
  • Daylight saving impact on fall sports​­ – D​aylight saving time would not impact the later dismissal time since we have lights on our playing fields.
  • Facility usage by community & Recreation Department programs at middle/high school facilities -​­ W​ith 35 Minute shift in end time for schools, the athletics and after school schedules would shift as well. This then moves the use of the same facilities by community groups, Recreation department and potential rentals of facilities to a later time, potentially losing rental income for the district. It is unlikely that community use of facilities could be shifted to before school to make up for any lost time. Youth groups are often the ones using the field and gyms later in the evening and it is doubtful the community would support elementary and middle school aged children out until 10 PM for athletics during the week. The groups have already expressed that they last time slot is as late as they could go which means not a 35 minute shift but rather a loss of one hour of community use as they would maintain their current end times (8PM or 9PM)
  • Current use of external facilities ­ Swimming (boys) & Ice Hockey (boys and girls) – ­ ​Start times for Boys Swimming is currently 2:30 PM at Melrose Y. This would need to be shifted with Melrose Y. Ice time for practices varsity hockey boys and girls begins at 3:00 PM and this may need to shift as well. Flynn Rink is used by regularly by Melrose, Winchester, and Medford. A committee exists for managing ice time priority.

Contractual Implications

  • Crossing Guards – Schedules ­​schedules could be shifted but would require coordination with St. Mary’s and discussions with the DCR at the state level.
  • Union Contracts (teachers, paras, secretaries, drivers) -​­ All bargaining units would need to agree to such a change in time. There is currently little support by the MTA for such a change although none has been proposed or discussed formally. As with any contract change, it is subject to collective bargaining and therefore part of a negotiation.​B​ased on survey from a year ago, roughly 21% indicated that such a change at the secondary campus only would be challenging to accommodate.

Fiscal Implications

  • Building Rentals – ­​There would be a loss in building rental revenue as youth
    groups and recreation department programs would lose an hour off their programming opportunities in many gyms and fields due to later completion times of High School sports.
  • Education Stations­ – T​here would be little to no change involved and possibly an increase in students after school because of the loss of older siblings to care.

Middlesex League High School Start and Finish Times for 2015-­2016:

Arlington: 8:00-­2:26
Belmont: 7:35­-2:25
Burlington: 7:38­-2:00
Lexington: 7:45­-2:25
Melrose: 7:45­-2:09
Reading: 7:30­-2:11
Stoneham: 7:40-­2:26
Wakefield: 7:30­-2:05
Watertown: 7:55-­2:30
Wilmington: 7:40­-2:05
Winchester: 7:45­-2:15
Woburn: 7:30­-2:00

There are groups formulating in Reading, Winchester, and Belmont, in order to research and explore the possibilities of changing their secondary school start times. It is unknown about the progress of these groups.

When researching local school districts who have made changes to start later for secondary students, the following districts stood out for their recent changes. It should be noted that most of these High Schools previously began school between 7:20 a.m. and 7:45 a.m.

  • Arlington High School: 8:00 a.m.–2:26 p.m.
  • Duxbury High School: Now 8:20 a.m.-2:45 p.m.
  • Hingham High School: Now 8 a.m.-2:32 p.m.
  • Marblehead High School: Now 7:55 a.m.-­2:30 p.m.
  • AMSA Charter School Marlborough starts its first class at 8:15 a.m. (homeroom at 8:05 a.m.).
  • Medway High School: Now 8:04 a.m.-2:31 p.m.
  • ​Nauset High School: Now 8:35 a.m.-2:57 p.m.
  • Sharon Public Schools: Now SHS 8:05 a.m. – 2:39 p.m. & SMS moved earlier to 7:40 a.m.­2:10 p.m

 

Top Recognition Given to Three Melrose Schools

Great news! Three Melrose schools have been named Commendation Schools by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. There were only 45 such schools in all of Massachusetts. Congratulations to The Hoover, Winthrop, and Lincoln schools who were all commended for high achievement!

The Melrose Schools are again being recognized for their great achievements.

Congratulations to the Melrose Public Schools. This honor is a testament to the talent, dedication, and hard work of all of our students and staff.

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