ShareThis Page
Inside the Classroom

Fox Chapel, other districts join debate over later school start times

Jamie Martines
| Thursday, April 12, 2018, 2:39 p.m.

Fox Chapel Area School District is joining the debate over later school start times.

The district will hold a public community forum Tuesday, April 24 at 7 p.m. at the high school to discuss the issue.

Medical professionals, district administrators and advocates for later school start times will participate in the panel discussion. All residents of the Fox Chapel Area School District, including children, are welcome to attend, according to a statement from the district.

Fox Chapel is one of several area districts to wade into the debate this school year.

The Board of Directors of Seneca Valley School District in Butler County voted to accept later start times for the 2018-19 school year on Monday, according to a statement from the district.

Grades seven through 12 will start 35 minutes later--current start is 7:34 a.m., the new start will be 8:09 a.m.--while the start time for grades kindergarten through six will be delayed by 15 minutes. Those students will begin class at 8:40 a.m. to adjust for a new morning bus schedule.

Seneca Valley has been studying the issue for about two years, according to the statement. The district considered research suggesting that schools start classes no earlier than 8 a.m. in order to make it easier for students to get more sleep, the statement said.

Meanwhile, Hempfield Area School District in Westmoreland County recently announced that the school day would start earlier and last longer in order to accommodate electives, career training and extra help sessions.

Hempfield administrators acknowledged that some studies make a case for later start times, but also pointed to others that contradict those findings. Hempfield Area Assistant Superintendent Mark Gross told the Tribune-Review that moving to a later high school start time would also disrupt the transportation schedule for schools throughout the district.

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

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me