State Study Says Teens Need More Sleep. Upper Darby Weighs Later School Start Time for High Schoolers

Students outside Upper Darby High School. Image via Media News Group file photo.

The Upper Darby School District is considering a later start time for its high school students, on the heels of a state study supporting the practice, writes Kevin Tustin for the Daily Times.

At a recent school board meeting, it was agreed an 8:30 a.m. start was better for sleep-deprived adolescents , who now start high school at 7:30 a.m., 8 a.m. at the middle school.

The time change would come with a transportation expense, as the board reviewed seven options.

One option was to do nothing. Another delayed time changes pending a new facility plan.

The other five options require an investment in new buses and shifts in time allotted for instruction.

One concern was how extracurricular activities and child care would be affected.

“It’s a long, interesting process to make this work. We have to remember that in the end, not everyone is going to be happy with potential outcomes,” said Assistant Superintendent Ed Marshaleck.

Unionville-Chadds Ford, and Radnor School Districts have already implemented later start times.

Three community forums at the high school are scheduled to discuss this issue; Feb. 13, 7 p.m.; March 6, 10 a.m. and March 31 at 3:30 p.m.

Read more about a time change discussion here.

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