"Not eating chard. That's what all those weirdos eat at their stupid picnics on the Hungry Ghost lawn." -Nina

February 01, 2008

Northampton High School Facing Changes, Principal Singer To Leave In June

Reading Between The Lines?

Breaking news from the Gaz online reports that Northampton High School Principal Beth Singer will be stepping down in June. This report comes directly after the Gaz reported in the paper (sub. req'd) this morning about a widely discussed policy change at the High School in regards to starting class times, with talk centered around an 8.30 or 9.00am start time. In that report in the paper this morning, Principal Singer had this to say about about the current start times, which has the late bell ringing at 7.30am.

"It's not OK," said Singer. "With a 7:30 start, many of these kids have been up since 5:30, after going to bed at 11:30 at night."
Reading this report, I just couldn't help but think how much it sounded like Singer was really talking about herself. Kids up at 5.30 to get to school at 7.30? Is that true? It doesn't seem that unlikely, though it was certainly not the case for me, and I did make sure I had time to look good before leaving the house. That's neither here nor there though. Singer continued that even a start time of 10.00am would be something she would like.
"The feasibility for this to happen is fairly good," said Singer. "Can it happen? Yes. Will it happen? Hard to tell. I tend to move quicker, but this isn't my movement"
Principal Singer was quoted throughout the article in ways that that seemed to belie a universal acceptance of these changes.
"For high school students, the later the better. The research is pretty clear. For education, for safety, for health reasons, we are of one mind on this,"
Clearly, Principal Singer feels this is a change that should be implemented.

The second half of the article spent quite a bit of time reporting on Superintendent of Schools Isabelina Rodriguez Babcock expressing reserved caution about the whole plan, expressing doubt about the studies used to further the issue, and offering valid concerns about any changes made to the start time, which seemed to effectively undermine the enthusiasm for these changes expressed by Principal Singer.
"There've been articles, but no solid research has been done on performance," said Rodriguez Babcock. "If we can change hours without shortchanging instructional time and without significantly affecting transportation, it's worth looking into, but you've got to look at the ramifications."
And now we get breaking news that Principal Singer will step down.

"Singer, 59, said in an interview this morning that the all-consuming nature of the job as principal prevented her from pursuing a healthier lifestyle."

LABELS: public policy, northampton high,