students will have to set their alarm clocks a little earlier in September so that they're ready to start their school day sooner than what they have been used to.
In an effort to build additional instruction time into the school day, the start and end times at both schools will be changed, according to Little Silver Schools Superintendent Dr. Carolyn M. Kossack.
"Giving our students the gift of more time was something I was thrilled to do given the demands of the curriculum," Kossack said in an e-mail, referring to the implementation of the Common Core standards that schools nationwide are required to adopt.
The school day at will begin five minutes earlier — at 8:10 a.m. instead of 8:15 a.m. — and end at 3 p.m. as usual.
But across town at , the school bell will ring at 8:05 a.m. and sound off again at 2:55 p.m. to mark the end of the day. Previously, school started at 8:15 a.m. and wrapped up at 2:45 p.m.
Kevin Brennan, president of the district's board of education, said, "This allows us to maximize teachers' and students' time."
He said that since Kossack took over as superintendent in 2007, she has focused on redoing school schedules to make better use of time. "This is just a continuation of what (Kossack) has been trying to do," Brennan said. "She's tweaking the schedule."
The new start and end times did not require any further negotiations with the Little Silver Education Association, as there was already language in teachers' contracts that accommodated the changes, said Brennan.
In a July 10 letter Kossack sent to families regarding the time changes, she cited the nation's slip in international rankings of students to "average" compared with other countries as another impetus for increasing instructional time.
"While we may be doing relatively well as compared to other NJ school districts ... as a nation we continue to decline," she wrote in the letter.