The Monadnock and Fall Mountain school districts have settled legal disputes with the Keene School District over later start times slated to begin in the fall.
Even as students throughout the state work from home during the state’s COVID-19 emergency declaration, the legal wrangling over the start times added potential confusion to the coming fall term.
Monadnock brought the lawsuit seeking an injunction against Keene after Keene announced the official start times for the coming 2020/2021 school year would be more than an hour later than the current school year. Monadnock and Fall Mountain send students to the Cheshire Career Center (CCC) for technical education classes, and both Fall Mountain and Monadnock are sticking with earlier start times.
Monadnock’s lawsuit states that Keene officials never consulted with their Monadnock or Fall Mountain counterparts about the start time change, and it violated the prior agreement for the districts to send students to the CCC.
Keene High School will start at 8:40 a.m. instead of the current 7:25 a.m., while Fall Mountain High School starts at 7:20 a.m. and Monadnock High School starts at 7:25 a.m.
The settlement between the districts, obtained through a Right to Know request, will have Keene start CCC classes popular with Monadnock and Fall Mountain students during Keene’s second and third class blocks, allowing the out of district students time to get to Keene, and to still take classes in their home districts. The agreement also stipulates Keene will provide regular classes to Monadnock and Fall Mountain students in case there is a conflict and they cannot get back to their home districts within their schedules.
As part of the settlement, all three districts will pay their own legal fees and expenses.