Upper Darby School District explores pushing back start time for high school

The Upper Darby School District is opening up a conversation about starting their high school at a later time.

District officials say they created a committee to explore the idea after the findings of a Pennsylvania sleep study showed evidence which supported sleep being beneficial to young people. 

The study recommended that secondary schools should begin at 8:30 a.m. to allow enough time for adolescents to get adequate sleep.

"The science speaks for itself, the research is there," says Edward Marshaleck, Assistant Superintendent of Student Services. "Our goal is to try to find ways that if we want to make this work, how can we do it to make everyone comfortable with it and also do it in a very financially responsible way."

Marshaleck says they came up with a number of scenarios to pull off the later start time, but most of them resulted in an additional transportation cost averaging 3 million dollars.

"We tried finding a way to offset the costs or make them lower if we moved different times around," he says. "We found, however, even with moving times around there still was a significant cost with transportation."

The options are not recommendations and the district made them available so the public could have an opportunity to look at them and give them feedback.

They will hold three public community forums at Upper Darby High School to discuss the scenarios:

February 13 at 7 p.m.

March 6 at 10 a.m.

March 31 at 3:30 p.m.

Anyone with questions or feedback can e-mail sleepstudy@upperdarbysd.org.


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