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South Middleton School District

An aerial view of Boiling Springs High School and its facilities.

The South Middleton School Board may consider changing the start times for the district’s four schools beginning in 2019-20.

Under the proposal, the school day for grade K-5 students in the W.G. Rice and Iron Forge buildings would run from 7:30 a.m. to 2:15 p.m.

The school day for grade 6-12 students would run from 8:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. for the Yellow Breeches Middle School and Boiling Springs High School.

Melanie Shaver-Durham, director of curriculum and instruction, briefed board members on the proposal during a meeting Monday. She has meetings scheduled with teachers, support staff and parents at all four buildings to gather their input to pass on to the board.

The proposal could come up again at the next board meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. Jan. 21 in the board room of the administrative wing of the Iron Forge building, 4 Academy St., Boiling Springs.

The changes are designed to support student achievement by making sure the teenagers are getting the recommended amount of sleep they need to achieve their full potential and stay alert in class, Shaver-Durham said. She said the American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended middle and high school students start at 8:30 a.m. or later to meet a target of 8.5 to 9.5 hours of sleep per night.

Shaver-Durham said the time changes are in keeping with a district initiative to provide K-12 teachers with more effective collaboration time in their daily schedules.

“Our two elementary schools and our two secondary schools share the same buses,” she said. “Therefore, to allow our adolescents to obtain the amount of sleep they need, we need to swap our elementary and secondary start times.”

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