Sometimes school districts are confronted by the need to reform policies to suit the needs of students as the main primary stakeholder. An example of a debatable experience is the change in the school starting program. The discussion in this paper will revolve around a school policy or a situation impacting the need to change politics.
The West Milford NJ community was initially settled by Lenni Lenape Indians, a tribe that sold the land to English people and migrated to the South. Later, new settlers discovered the potential wealth of West Milford by mining, and communities evolved. Typically, the first industry in the region started with the discovery of iron, and as people continued to discover the countryside, the township developed. West Milford emerged as a resort community; summer colleges sprung everywhere, especially along the lakefronts (US News, 2021). The current population estimate of West Milford in New Jersey is over 26000 persons (United State Census, 2021). Residents vary with age gaps, race, and social-economic characteristics such as health, employability, and income level. The population of individuals below 18 years is more than that of adults. The racial composition comprises white, black, Asian, Native Hawaiian, Hispanic, or Latinos (United State Census, 2021). Indeed, the West Milford community is rich in demographics traits.
Moreover, in the West Milford school district, the policymaking system is based on the relationship of individuals in the policy process, which involves analysis of goals, motivations, and strategies. International stakeholders such as teachers, administrators, students, and parents are engaged in conversations concerning policy changes and implementations (Cooper et al., 2015). Primarily, stakeholders are initiators, and proper communication is observed where necessary for the visibility of change accommodation.
Fictional Situation to Change Politics
The West Milford school community needs to prepare for policy change due to the presenting situation of sleep quality in adolescents. Most teenagers and young adults require at least nine hours of quality sleep, and the school program has to adjust to accommodate health, safety, and equity benefits (Alfonsi et al., 2020). According to health experts, a shift in sleep cycles for young people is a common issue, as it makes it challenging for them to fall asleep early as young or older adults (Patte et al., 2019). Failure to accommodate this issue poses a significant threat to students’ academic excellence and performance at school. Positively, the policy culture of West Milford set the pace that any reform should be communicated effectively and timely to all stakeholders affected for significant insights and gains. West Milford school value an internal dialogue and initiates communication about the change towards the issues by employing necessary interaction means. For example, emails and phone calls would be used to rally parents, instructors, administrators, and students to meetings and discuss the matter. Given the complexity of diversity, information must be tailored to cultural elements such as language and accessible channels. The language needs to be kept clear, concise, and straightforward to serve a culturally diverse audience.
Defending the Proposal
To defend the proposed change of school start time, there would be a need to point the benefits of the late program are beneficial to students. For example, stakeholders should be informed of the values of starting school late include safety concerns such as the risk of teen crashes, improved academic performance, few moods change, and improved physical health (Foss et al., 2019). Experts reveal that shifts in sleep cycles common in young people make it difficult for most students to fall asleep when needed—as such, staying awake during sleeping hours reduces time and quality of sleep given that they must wake up early the following day. Early wake-up calls deprive students of focus during the day; hence changes must be enacted to retain the appropriate sleep pattern.
Recommendations Regarding the Proposed Change
Concerning the proposed change of later school start-time, School board members would be recommended to enact an 8:40 am or start time in the district. Middle and high schools should be prioritized in this policy. To make the policy effective and widely accepted by all stakeholders, it is recommended that the school district leadership create awareness by promoting the education values and importance of sleep quality. Such an effort aims to counter change resistance, which can be done through in-services, workshops, family, or community events. At the community level, suggestively, media should be engaged to promote an understanding to the public of the value of later school start time.
Arguments to Support and Refute the Change
Arguably, the policy change can be support by the claims on psychological health, which is central to academic focus. Supposedly, if students achieve quality time to sleep, they stand in a better position to concentrate in class during the day since the moods and attitudes towards learning are retained (Hafner et al., 2017). On the contrary, the policy can be refuted by claims that there would be interference in transportation logistics, parent work schedule, and extracurricular activities such as sports.
Educational Leadership and Dynamic Population
In the West Milford school community, the effects of policy formulation and implementation manifest to the internal population through changes such as adjustments in daily routines. For example, integrating school start time changes would alter normal curriculum and extra curriculum events that need to be adjusted to the new schedule. The change does not come without resistance by students. At the local population level, policy changes affect stakeholders such as parents who must accommodate the new school time programs by adjusting their schedules to prepare students (Aldhaheri, 2017). Similarly, the change is not without resistance, and the community is constantly communicating timely and early enough before changes are implemented to prepare individuals in advance.
Aldhaheri, A. (2017). Cultural intelligence and leadership style in the education sector. International Journal of Educational Management. 31 (6). pp. 718-735. Web.
Alfonsi, V., Scarpelli, S., D’Atri, A., Stella, G., & De Gennaro, L. (2020). Later school start time: the impact of sleep on academic performance and health in the adolescent population. International journal of environmental research and public health, 17(7), 2574. Web.
Cooper, B., Cibulka, J., & Fusarelli, L. (2015). Handbook of education politics and policy. Taylor & Francis.
Foss, R. D., Smith, R. L., & O’Brien, N. P. (2019). School start times and teenage driver motor vehicle crashes. Accident Analysis & Prevention, 126, 54-63. Web.
Hafner, M., Stepanek, M., & Troxel, W. M. (2017). The economic implications of later school start times in the United States. Sleep Health, 3(6), 451-457. Web.
Patte, K. A., Qian, W., Cole, A. G., Faulkner, G., Chaput, J. P., Carson, V., & Leatherdale, S. T. (2019). School start time changes in the COMPASS study: associations with youth sleep duration, physical activity, and screen time. Sleep medicine, 56, 16-22. Web.
United State Census. (2021). QuickFacts West Milford township, Passaic County, New Jersey. Web.
US News. (2021). West Milford Township High School. Web.