Proposal for new start times for State College Area Schools

Local News

Members of the State College Area School Board are in favor of changing the start time for all classes, and met with parents on Monday night to discuss the idea.  The proposal calls to start elementary schools a half hour earlier, and end them 10 minutes later, adding 40 minutes of class time. 

“We strongly believe that providing more learning experiences will help not only improve their learning but also enable us to do so in a manner that’s less rushed and hairied,” said Robert O’Donnell, Superintendent of State College School District.

But it has some parents concerned.

“I think that having elementary start earlier and go longer, is going to add a lot of stress to those younger kids and the younger families,” said Janet Gass, a parent with kids in the school system.

The proposal also calls to push back the start and end time for middle and high school students by 30 minutes, adding no extra class time.

The Student Government President believes the change would be a good thing for the high schooler’s.

“I’ve seen that high school kids need more sleep than even elementary school kids.  I think it’s going to benefit them greatly.  Academically especially in the long run,” said Justin Korman, State High Student Government President. 

The State College School District has one of the shortest elementary school days in the state, so this proposal is intended to try and make up for that.
They have research to show that middle and high school students need 8 and a half to 9 and a half hours of sleep, and  they benefit from a later wake up time.

“Watching our child change over time, I can see the research in play from a dad’s perspective, in the fact that high school aged kids can’t fall asleep earlier, elementary aged kids can,” said O’Donnell.

Gass says the later start time will make it difficult to get things done.

I think right now my kids get home late enough. They’re getting home close to 4 o’clock and that’s a real hustle to get them fed, and get a little bit of down time before their activities star,” said Gass.

For now, the debate continues.  The proposal will be presented to the Board for approval on October 9th.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories

Don't Miss