BOSTON (WHDH) - An announcement that will have a big impact on students in Boston schools will be made Thursday.
Many schools in the district will have a new start and end time starting next year – a project that is more than 18 months in the making.
Officials hope to optimize start times for the 56,000 students in the Boston Public School District.
Ideally, school leaders want to shift elementary school start times earlier, so students are down before 4 p.m., and high school start times later, beginning after 8 a.m.
“We believe based on some initial scenarios we’ve run, that we can get up to 80% of our high schools to start after 8 o’clock, and that’s what the community has asked for, that’s what the research says, and i think we can pull it off,” said Dr. Tommy Chang, superintendent of Boston Public Schools.
The school committee voted to change the school start times Wednesday night. Now, it’s up to a team from MIT to determine what those start times will be. They are using hundreds of computers to run an algorithm to get it done.
“Allows us to sort of take 1.8 octodazillion possibilities, and reduce it to a few hundred thousand, and then those can be explored more thoroughly to find the one that best suits BPS’ policy goals,” said Arthur Delarue of the MIT Operations Research Center.
The school district put out a challenge to people all over the world to solve their transportation problem, which they call incredibly complicated. They’re hoping the new start times will save them money, while working better for students and families.
“In many cases, the older siblings might be able to assist the younger siblings in getting to the bus stop before they themselves go off to school. So, it’s really just flipping whats happening right now,” said John Hanlon, Chief of Operations of Boston Public Schools.
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