As an educator and former principal of Miami Palmetto Senior High, I support School Board member Martin Karp’s suggestion that the early start of the high school day should be changed.
Each day I stood at the school entrance and watched hundreds of students in a zombie-like state arrive for their first class. Many carried a cup of coffee and a bite to eat to jumpstart their day.
We implemented a program to allow students to schedule their first-period class as an online course that could be completed outside of school. This way, they would gain an additional hour of sleep and start their school day with the beginning of second period. We also let students schedule their last-period class the same way. This allowed them to leave school an hour earlier for an afternoon job or other activity. In addition, the program helped us work toward meeting the class-size initiative.
Solutions to problems instructional leaders face require both community support and thinking out of the box. Kudos to Karp for starting the conversation.
Howard Weiner, Miami