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Quaker Valley preps for first day of school

Bobby Cherry
| Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017, 4:15 p.m.
Drum major Katie Rostek and other members of the Quaker Valley High School Marching Band are reflected in a sousaphone during band camp at the middle school Thursday, Aug. 3, 2017.
Kristina Serafini | Tribune-Review
Drum major Katie Rostek and other members of the Quaker Valley High School Marching Band are reflected in a sousaphone during band camp at the middle school Thursday, Aug. 3, 2017.

Students will be starting their days a little later in Quaker Valley as classes begin next week.

In June, school board members voted to push back the start of the day by 15 minutes. The move means middle school and high school classes start at 8 a.m. Elementary classes will begin at 8:45 a.m. High school classes would end at 3 p.m., middle school at 3:05 p.m. and grades one through five at 3:35 p.m. Kindergarten classes end at 2:10 p.m.

No major changes are expected in the district from the delayed start of classes, district spokeswoman Angela Conigliaro said.

Having school start times before 8:30 a.m. can disrupt their natural circadian rhythms, according to a 2014 policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

“Delaying school start times is an effective countermeasure to chronic sleep loss and has a wide range of potential benefits to students with regard to physical and mental health, safety, and academic achievement,” the statement reads.

Quaker Valley surveyed parents about the change, and the response from about 300 families was overwhelmingly in favor of the proposal, Assistant Superintendent Andrew Surloff said in the spring.

“Only about 15 percent of the comments (from the survey) were negative,” Surloff said in a previous interview with the Herald. “And those were for reasons of inconvenience. Some of them said ‘it's just 15 minutes, why bother?' and some said ‘just tell them to go to bed earlier.' ”

Along with new start times, Quaker Valley is implementing a learning management system called Schoology, Conigliaro said. “With Schoology, students can digitally submit homework assignments, review grades, participate in interactive discussions, receive announcements and feedback, take tests, and much more,” she said.

Parents can view thier child's activity, including “assignments, calendars, and communication with the teacher within the platform.”

“Schoology enables our students, parents and teachers to engage with learning materials and their school community from the classroom and beyond,” Conigliaro said. “We look forward to using Schoology beginning in November.”

The district also completed work to tennis courts and the track on the high school campus.

Bobby Cherry is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at rcherry@tribweb.com and on Twitter at @bc_trib. Kim Lyons contributed.

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