Recounts 'day in the life' of local students

To the Editor:

There are quite a few differences between being a fifth-grader at Sarah Noble Intermediate School and a seventh-grader at Schaghticoke Middle School.

With the closing of John Pettibone School in June 2015 and the rush to redistrict by the fall of 2015, the current fifth grade will be denied the sixth grade transition at Noble and will instead be abruptly thrust into a middle school environment.

I have both a fifth- and seventh-grader, and have outlined the stark differences of their school days.

Schaghticoke -- He catches the bus at 6:39 a.m., arriving at 7:15 a.m. He waits on the bus until 7:25 a.m. The first class begins 7:35 a.m. There is no home room.

Sarah Noble -- She catches the bus at 8:05 a.m., arriving at 8:40 a.m. She promptly enters school. First bell is at 8:50 a.m. with a homeroom routine and snack time at her desk.

Schaghticoke -- 47-minute classes located all over the school. Bell warnings give three minutes between classes. He carries a heavy cinch sack with all his belongings around school. Backpacks clutter the classroom and there is no time for locker between classes.

Sarah Noble -- 45-minute classes primarily in one classroom. Her belongings are in her desk. No bell warnings between classes with a seamless transition. One switch teacher for science three times a week for 45 minutes.

Schaghticoke -- Four lunch waves, 25 minutes long. Three days a week he lunches at 11:45 a.m., two days a week at 12:10 p.m. No recess.

Sarah Noble -- Six lunch waves. 25-minute lunch every day, then 25 minutes for recess.

Schaghticoke -- Locker stop during three minutes before last class. Time is too tight after the last bell and the call for buses. Arrives home at 2:37 p.m.

Sarah Noble -- Locker stop at day's end. She gathers belongings in homeroom before buses are called. Arrives home at 3:50 p.m.

This current fifth grade moving to sixth grade at Schaghticoke Middle School will be something my daughter and 341 of her classmates will have to face.

Will New Milford public schools be ready to make this a smooth transition, not only for themselves but also for our kids?

I am not so sure.

Kathy Flynn

New Milford