Dear Katie and Annique,
As a PS 58 parent, I am happy to hear that after many years of negotiating, the United Federation of Teachers was able to approve a contract with the city resulting in benefits that teachers unquestionably deserve for all of the wonderful and hard work they do with our children.
I was concerned to learn, as a result of the contract, that PS 58 has decided to change the hours of arrival and dismissal for PS 58 students from 8:40 AM to 3:00 PM to 8:00 AM to 2:20 PM for grades 1 through 5.
As I understand that this time change allows teachers the flexibility to add more small-group work and additional enrichment during the day, along with additional hours for communication with parents and professional development, I am deeply saddened by the fact that this decision was not subject to a public discussion inviting PS 58 parent feedback.
It is my understanding that schools have the ability to determine their starting time, and that our neighboring school, PS 29, has opted for an 8:30 AM arrival time.
Please understand that this change poses the following obstacles to many PS 58 parents:
- Quality family time with our children is challenging for working parents. Creating an earlier start time means that families lose a valuable 40 minutes together every morning to make it to school on time.
- Our children will need to go to bed earlier, leaving less time for homework, and again, less time together as a family.
- Many working parents have their children involved in afterschool activities which are costly as is. This shift will place even more of a financial hardship on parents.
As PS 58 parents, we applaud and admire the amazing education and care that you provide for our most prized possessions every day. Please include our concerns in this decision making process, please move the new arrival time up to 8:30 AM to accommodate the families of PS 58.