By: Emily Bracher
The one and only bridge leading in to Key West, Cow Key Channel, has a proposed construction start time of April 15th. This was put into action after the realization that the salt from the water has caused the underneath of the bridge to deteriorate. It is estimated that this project will take nine months.
After news of this construction came about, the public exclaimed their concerns about the traffic congestion. Their main worry was students getting to school on time. Another concern was bus schedules. Most of the Lower Keys schools share not only the buses, but the drivers. This is the reason that caused the idea of changing school times to be proposed.
At the School Advisory Committee (SAC) meeting on Tuesday, February 4th, confirmed that schools will be changing the time students start class: Sugarloaf School, Gerald Adams Elementary, and Poinciana are all estimated to start at 7:30am, Horace O’Bryant is estimated to start at 8:00am, and Key West High School is estimated to start at 8:45am.
Many teachers and staff members have their own opinion on the situation. Donna Tedesco, Key West High School’s Teacher of the Year, commented, “ I think we really have no choice, so, it’s the best case scenario. We all want the bridge fixed, so we have to be flexible and patient and accommodate the best we can. If it means that our kids can’t get here until later, then we are here later because our job is to teach the kids when they can be here.”
Up the Keys, Lee Hartnett, a middle school teacher at Sugarloaf School believes that, “Adjusting school start times can help the traffic issue. It is not a solution but it will help. It could be difficult for some families but we have to think of the greater good.”
Jason Garcia, head coach of the varsity softball team at the high school gave his insight on his opinion. “I am totally against the new start time. If you as a student are serious about your education, you will be on time at the earlier start time,” Garcia exclaims, “I feel that it would cause student athletes, especially the ones living up the keys, an issue with studying and getting homework done late at night after their sports practice.”
As news broke out to the students that they got to sleep in, many were ecstatic. Roosevelt Joseph, a senior at the high school stated, “I wish they would have done it four years ago because that would have saved me a lot of credits.” Another student, Sabian Keller, who wakes up at around 5:30 every morning claims, “Sleeping in sounds kind of fun. I believe that I will regain all of the lost hours of sleep I’ve lost after waking up so early in the morning. I feel like I will perform better in my classes.”
Some parents have the stress of having two kids in different schools. The new change in times has the possibility of creating problems when they have to pick up their kids at two different schools. Michelle Folb has two students enrolled at Sugarloaf School and Key West High School. This now will make it harder to get her older daughter to school because of work schedules and taking the younger one to an earlier starting school.
If you are interested in finding out more information about school start time, attending Tuesday’s School Board Meeting at 5:30.