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Later RHS Start Time & New School Schedules Approved by School Board

Updated April 26, 2019; First Published April 23, 2019

In Name of Student Health, Later Start Time at Radnor High School and New School Schedules Approved by School Board

 

Beginning the 2019-20 School Year, RHS Will Begin 55 Minutes Later at 8:30 a.m.; Schedules at Radnor Middle School and Ithan, Radnor and Wayne Elementary Schools Will Also Change

 

In line with the recommendations of major medical organizations and following the results of a comprehensive multi-year study of student sleep and school start time in Radnor Township School District, the RTSD School Board voted April 23 to approve a change to the schedules at all five RTSD schools, establishing a new 8:30 a.m. start time at Radnor High School and ensuring the greatest number of Radnor students benefit from the health advantages of increased sleep.


By pushing the Radnor High School start time back 55 minutes from 7:35 a.m., RTSD becomes the only school district in Southeastern Pennsylvania to successfully adjust its high school start time to align with the 8:30 a.m. start time recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the American Medical Association.


“I commend the dedicated and thorough work of our Sleep and School Start Time Committee, which allowed our district and Board to feel confident in our solutions to the obstacles and, most importantly, that a change in schedule is best for our students," superintendent Kenneth E. Batchelor said. "Everyone in Radnor should feel proud of what caring people accomplished on behalf of the township’s youth.”


As approved by the Board, the new schedule for RTSD schools beginning the 2019-20 school year is:
 
·     Radnor High School: 8:30 a.m.-3:10 p.m. (now: 7:35 a.m.-2:27 p.m.)
·     Radnor Middle School: 7:50 a.m.-2:40 p.m. (now: 8 a.m.-3 p.m.)
·     Ithan, Radnor and Wayne Elementary Schools: 9:07 a.m.-3:40 p.m. (now: 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m.)


 The full Sleep and School Start Time Report and Addendum, “More Sleep for a Healthier Student,” can be found here.

 

More Than A Later Start Time

 

In addition to school schedule changes at all RTSD schools, the following schedule modifications and related activities will be implemented and undertaken, among others:
 
·     End-of-School-Day “Fitness for Athletes” Course at RHS
·     Refinement of RMS Schedule
·     Study of Homework in RTSD
·     Sleep Hygiene Education in Schools, Including Proper Technology Use
·     Education on Time Management and Finding Balance
 
The district has also established metrics to evaluate the effects of the schedule change, including through surveys, focus groups, and comparisons of quantitative data.
 
“A change to our start time is big step, but still one of several we are taking in the name of student health and safety,” Batchelor said.
 
The district is also in the midst of a Wellness Study and will soon release a parent, staff and student survey on school climate.

 

From the Experts

 

"Your Committee's extremely thoughtful and inclusive decision- making process that examined a wide range of options for school start times, as well as the most appropriate timeline of events, were exemplary. Your detailed explanations of the pros and cons of the various approaches in the report clearly delineated your thought processes, and the final recommendation represents a true best-case scenario given the complexity of the issues and the various factions/agendas involved. This should serve as a model for other school districts across the country.” -- Dr. Judith Owens

 

“Congratulations on your thoughtful and systematic process over the past several years to engage the Radnor community, present the science concerning adolescent sleep and the conflict with early school start times, andeffectively problem-solve to arrive at the solution that works for most students.” -- Dr. Wendy Troxel



For more on the study of sleep and school start time in Radnor Township School Districit, click here. To share feedback, email sleep@rtsd.org.