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Allegheny

Woodland Hills adopts later school start times

Jamie Martines
| Thursday, May 24, 2018, 4:00 p.m.
Woodland Hills High School on August 23, 2017.
Ben Schmitt | Tribune-Review
Woodland Hills High School on August 23, 2017.

The Woodland Hills School District had some of the earliest start times in the region with classes starting as early as 7 a.m.

That's set to change next school year.

The district announced this week that start times would shift 20 minutes later starting in the fall.

"Our high school starts at 7 a.m., which means the first bus stop begins at 6:05 a.m.," Assistant Superintendent Licia Lentz said. "That is entirely too early for our kids. By adjusting by 20 minutes, our first pick up will now be at 6:30, which depending on the season, is daylight or becoming lighter."

Classes at the high school, which serves grades seven through 12, will now start at 7:20 a.m. The Academy and Intermediate School will start at 8:25 a.m., while Wilkins and Edgewood Elementary Schools will start at 9:15 a.m.

Start times for Rankin K-6 and Rankin 7-12 are unchanged.

The change puts the high school start time on par with other area schools, including Franklin Regional, Gateway, North Allegheny, Pine-Richland and Plum, which all start classes earlier than 7:30 a.m., according to a survey of area districts conducted by the Tribune-Review in November 2017.

North Allegheny was also among several area districts that considered changing school start times this year, but the school board decided in January to hold of on moving the high school start time from 7:25 a.m. to 8 a.m. in order to conduct further studies to see how much the changes could cost the district.

Woodland Hills uses 120 buses to transport 7,200 students to 92 locations each day, with 3,850 students traveling to schools within the district and 3,350 heading to charter and private schools.

Lentz of Woodland Hills said the later start time will not impact transportation.

"We will not be running additional routes, and the cost will even out, with a possibility of savings," Lentz said. "We will not that until we have full rosters in late July/August."

Jamie Martines is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at jmartines@tribweb.com, 724-850-2867 or on Twitter @Jamie_Martines.

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