December 21, 2018

December 21, 2018

 

Since November 13, 2018, when the Radnor Township School District Adolescent Sleep and School Start Time Committee offered the RTSD School Board its initial recommendation of an 8:30 a.m. start time at Radnor High School (from the current start time of 7:35 a.m.) and a 9:15 a.m. start time at RTSD elementary schools (from the current start time of 9 a.m.), focus group sessions have been held with various stakeholder groups to gather feedback on the initial recommendation and related topics (see Dec. 7, 2018 update below).

 

The committee values the information provided to date by the Radnor community and has discussed and considered the input received. Below are highlights of additional steps taken based on this feedback since the initial recommendation was offered. For updated answers to frequently asked questions raised at the various feedback sessions, visit https://www.rtsd.org/Page/22398.

 

Contracted with Bus Routing Company TransFinder

 

TransFinder is the routing company the RTSD Transportation Department uses to manage bus runs. The district has entered into an agreement with TransFinder to help identify efficiencies in bus runs and explore the logistics of how a later start at Radnor High School might work. The report from TransFinder is slated to be completed by mid-February 2019 and will provide valuable information to allow for the maximization of resources in terms of district buses and bus drivers.

 

Re-Opened the Possibility of Starting Elementary Schools First

 

Feedback from elementary school teachers and parents of elementary-aged students requested the committee reconsider an option that would have RTSD elementary schools start first as opposed to last at 9:15 a.m. Popular rationale was that many times, elementary-aged students are more awake and alert earlier in the morning but tend to fade in the afternoon. The committee is currently working on developing an option that would have elementary schools start first, followed by Radnor High School and Radnor Middle School.

 

Working to Solidify Before- and After-School Care Options

 

RTSD administration has met with Family Support Services (FSS), the third-party before- and after-school care provider used by many RTSD elementary families, to discuss expanding their services and to determine various costs in the case of adjusted start times. Administration has also looked at how before-and after-school clubs could be structured to provide opportunities for students to be engaged in meaningful and interesting activities outside of the school day.

 

Re-Examined the Radnor High School Schedule

 

Based on student and teacher feedback at Radnor High School, an option to move Community Period back to its currently scheduled spot in the school day (after 1st and 2nd periods on Wednesdays and Thursdays) has been created. The initial recommendation proposed Community Period be moved to the end of the school day to mitigate lost instructional time caused by early dismissals for athletic events. Radnor High School administration is now exploring scheduling athletes into “Fitness for Athletes” Physical Education classes that would meet during 8th period to account for early dismissals.

 

Contacting Various Radnor Township Groups

 

District administration is working to establish contacts with various stakeholder groups in Radnor Township, such as the Wayne Business Association, Penn Medicine, and administrative departments within the township itself. The goal is to educate these group about the initial recommendation, solicit feedback, and explore how these groups might be able to help.

 

Again, the above information highlights just some of the activities accomplished since the initial recommendation. Ongoing suggestions and feedback from parents, students and community members is encouraged. The next formal feedback session will take place Monday, January 7, 2019 at 7 p.m. in the Radnor High School Auditorium. Questions and comments are also welcome anytime at sleep@rtsd.org. Also, please be sure to mark your calendars for an evening with nationally renowned pediatric sleep expert Dr. Judith Owens on Thursday, February 7, 2019 at 7 p.m. in the Radnor High School Auditorium.