Saturday, November 22, 2008

PPS Plan for a Transit Strike

On the November "Start a New Post" Anonymous wrote:

This morning"s Post-Gazette and the PPS website outline the district's plan for the possibility of a PAT strike. Hopefully, this will not occur, and I do applaud the district for coming up with a plan. But I am concerned about what that plan is- changing the starting time for a number of high schools to 6:30 am! Since studies have shown that high schoolers are barely awake at the regular starting time, how does the district expect them to be able to be ready for school, get to a bus stop, and be awake for class! I would expect to see a greater percentage of students choosing to go or ending up going, to school late or not at all. For those students who may be teetering on the edge of whether to stay in school, this may be the straw that will break the camel's back. Also, I am concerned with the lack of concern for the safety of the students waiting in the dark and the cold at 5:30-6:00 am. It seems that the starting time should be pushed to later in the day, not earlier, or the district should hire more buses, since it will be asking for a reimbursement of the monthly fees from PAT. Hopefully, parents of the students of affected schools will register their protest to the district.

Posted by Anonymous to PURE Reform at November 22, 2008 10:55 AM

13 comments:

Questioner said...

Ice is also likely to be more of a problem early in the morning, with both students and vehicles more likely to slip. And of all schools to choose to start early, why include Schenley? Haven't these students already dealt with enough?

PPSparent said...

Frick 9th graders too. Those kids already eat lunch at 10 am. Now they can just call it brunch and have it at 9 am, right after they've cleared out breakfast from the middle school kids.

The one delay this year was announced very late, if they've got kids leaving home near to 5:30 am, they're going to have to be calling delays and snow days a lot earlier in the morning!

Anonymous said...

I will admit, first off, that I do not know the populations of each high school but from my limited knowledge it seems that the schools like Schenley and CAPA which are magnets and pull from larger areas should have the later start times. Allderdice is mostly East End/Sq Hill; those kids can roll out of bed and be at school in 15 minutes. My guess is the determining factor was what is easiest for the district and not what is best for the students.

PPSparent said...

I think it's the schools that have the most kids using PAT. Allderdice has gone back to using mostly school buses, I believe, rather than PAT, so they seem to have left those schools alone and just moved the schools that are most affected?

Anonymous said...

In addition to posting comments on this site, the parents of students affected by this not well thought out, unsafe decision need to register their protest with the district and write letters to the editor. It will be interesting to see how such a plan might increase the rate of tardiness and absentism, one of the standards for qualifying for the Pittsburgh Promise.

Questioner said...

Letters to the Post-Gazette can be submitted online. The link is:

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/03001/322207-209.stm#letters

reused said...

Oh, what the hell. Let's work it all out as we need to do so. Our kids are more resilient than we give them credit for.

Questioner said...

True, but part of working it out is taking at least a little time to be sure we are handling the situation in the best way possible.

Anonymous said...

And while I certainly hope that there is NOT a transit strike and we never have to worry... It's still pretty ridiculous that we have such early start times to begin with (despite lots of research showing the benefits of later start times for HS age kids) and that the decision is to make it even earlier.

Basically most of the school day would be over before most of the kids are awake enough to learn -- even if their bodies are sitting in the classes. Wouldn't this be a good time to experiment with later times instead?!

There'd still be problems with after school games but there would be those problems regardless of whether the times go earlier or later.

Anonymous said...

It really is not a matter if our particular kids are resilient or not. It is whether this plan is the best one possible. For those who do not live in the East End and for those who may be considering whether to continue along their path, this could have a different result. When I mentioned the possible start time change to my child, the response was- then I just won't go!

Mark Rauterkus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mark Rauterkus said...

Sounds like a deal between the PAT drivers/union and the PAT administration/board/authority was reached tonight. A strike may not happen at all. Good news for the kids.

Questioner said...

Thanks for the update! Many parents will be relieved.