Natick Public School Considering Significant Future Schedule Changes
Important News for Natick Families
To our Tobin Community,
The Natick Public Schools are considering significant changes to their operating schedules effective with the 2024-2025 school year. They are considering the following changes:
- Changing all elementary schools to the same opening and closing hours
- Moving elementary school opening hours earlier and moving Natick High School openings later in the morning
- Moving to a weekly Wednesday early release schedule
Any one of these changes will have a significant impact on our Tobin Afterschool program and on the families we serve:
- Closing all elementary schools at the same time would make our pick up with two buses untenable, as we simply cannot pick up all schools at the same time. Unless there is an option for public school transportation for elementary children to the Afterschool program or an option for students to be supervised at the schools until transportation can be provided, this change would impact our Tobin Afterschool progam such that we would NOT be able to offer our current level of service to families.
- Moving the closing hours of the High School later means that many high schoolers who currently work part time positions at Tobin will not be home in time for elementary dismissal time and bus arrivals. Such a change would impact our ability to staff fully at both the Tobin Children’s School and Tobin Afterschool to the extent that we would NOT be able to offer our current level of service to families at both TCS and Tobin Afterschool.
- Since more than half of our Tobin Afterschool staff works part time, the decision to change to an every week Wednesday early release schedule would make our ability to staff pick up and care for our current level of students impossible. If this change occurs, we would not be able to accommodate full capacity for enrollment on Wednesdays at Tobin Afterschool, which is currently our largest day of enrollment.
- The town of Natick currently is unable to fully meet the demand for Afterschool care. These changes will significantly impact two-parent working families who need care outside of school hours, as well the cost structure of such care.
We are communicating with the other Natick Afterschool programs to share the impact of these potential changes with decision makers but know that parents will need to be a part of this very significant decision. We encourage families who are concerned about these issues, to get involved in this process to make their feelings known. We also encourage parents to request that the question of school starts times and a weekly early release be divided into separate questions.
A Natick School Committee Meeting is scheduled for Monday, March 20th at 6:00 p.m. to serve as a Parent Forum on these issues prior to a vote (possibly as early as Wednesday, March 22nd). This meeting will be held in the School Committee Room at the Natick Town Hall, 13 E. Central St. Natick, MA
- This a hybrid meeting allowing both in-person and Zoom participation:
- Monday, 6PM, hybrid School Committee Meeting/Parent Forum on Time Study
- Here is the Zoom info for Monday’s 6PM meeting. The info for Wednesday is not yet available.
- Virtual Meeting Accessed Via: https://us06web.zoom.us/
j/2038566119?pwd= TmtsdXgxenQ0YXRLN1FIcHVpd3hEZz 09
- Meeting ID: 203 856 6119
- Passcode: 987179
- To Find your local number:https://us06web.zoom.
The following School Committee meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, March 22nd, and will include time for the School Committee members to ask questions of the Time Study group advising them on this issue. They may vote on this issue at that time or push the vote out further.
If you need afterschool care in Natick, we encourage you to learn more about these issues, contact members of the School Committee to share your concerns, and participate in this important discussion.
A list of School Committee members and how to contact them is included here: https://www.natickps.org/
A new page on the Natick Public Schools’ website offers more detail on this decision: https://www.natickps.org/cms/
Lori Davis, M.Ed.
Asst. Executive Director, Tobin Schools, Natick
Sr. Program Director, Tobin Children’s School