Deb Bailey Keller says she couldn't believe her ears Monday night when the Harlem School Board voted 5 to 2 to change school start times. "They not only lost my vote, they lost my respect."
Starting next fall, Harlem elementary schools will start at 8:15 am, while Harlem High School and Middle School will start at 8:55 am and 8:50 am.
Board members claim teens getting more sleep are more alert and productive, which will lead to better test scores. But some parents, including Deb, say there wasn't enough communication to the public about the vote...or a chance to debate new details of the proposal.
"They did not have to decide this in the December meeting. They had until April. They had time to have a community meeting. They had time to get community impact."
Cheyl Aamodt agrees. "They did not discuss it with us, it wasn't out there for us to see. It has changed since the last parents meeting."
Superintendent Dr. Julie Morris says they took parents' concerns to heart.
"We had a lot of imput from the commuity. Hundreds of emails. Through the community imput meeting, the board made several changes to that proposal. We went back to the drawing board, came back again. "