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Longer Days Ahead, Literally, for Little Silver Students Next Year

The district announced that the school day at both Point Road and Markham Place will be slightly longer starting in September.

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.

Thenews July 20, 2012 at 11:00 PM
How about kids walk to school or ride their bikes? In Little Silver you see bikes only on the very nice days. Otherwise there is a car for every family at the schools.
tara July 20, 2012 at 11:26 PM
There is no safe way for children on my block to get to school by walking or riding. I've met with the traffic committee as well as LS police and they both agree that it is not safe for the kids to go on their own. I wish it were safe because my kids always want to ride. Carpooling is my friend!
LittleS July 20, 2012 at 11:50 PM
"Thenews": Am I correct to assume that you do not have children at Point Road? The streets of Little Silver are not biker friendly, especially for the little children at 8:00 am when everyone is rushing and driving quickly through the town. I know Little Silver keeps many roads sidewalk free in order to maintain the "rural" feel, but this makes it even more dangerous for kids to ride their bikes during the morning rush hour.
Dede July 21, 2012 at 04:49 PM
I have children at both schools and, while the added time may be perceived my some anonymous readers to "be a joke" I know it will make a difference if only by making the kids feel a little less rushed. I am unaware of any LS "policy" that limits sidewalks to maintain the "rural" feel, especially since this town is far from rural. I have had my children walk, bike, take the bus and be driven to school. I vastly prefer ANYTHING but driving, especially for pick up at PRS when you have to get there at least half an hour before school ends to be parked anywhere near the school. Oh, how I love to see dozens of cars idling during the very hot or very cold times of the year...
Dede July 21, 2012 at 04:59 PM
Amy: I have not received Dr. Kossack's July 10 letter and it is not on the BOE website. Any idea where I can get a copy? Thanks!

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