Chambersburg board might alter school schedules

January 10, 2008|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A few months ago, the Chambersburg Area School District was discussing flipping the schedules of elementary and secondary schools, but a new administration proposal has changed that to adjust for athletics, bus schedules and other concerns.

When first discussed in October, the administration contemplated starting elementary school earlier than secondary schools, one reason being that teenagers have a different sleep cycle.

"Research may say let the older kids sleep in, but that's not realistic," board member Lori Leedy said.

"It was just almost impossible for us to do it later," Chambersburg Superintendent Joseph Padasak said.

The turnaround time for buses, athletic schedules and concerns over elementary students waiting for morning buses in the dark were major problems, he said.

The current schedule had the high school, junior high and middle school starting at about 7:35 a.m. and running to 3:20 p.m. while the elementary day begins at 8:25 a.m. and ends at 2:40 p.m.


The revamped schedule would have secondary students arriving at schools at about 7:45 a.m. with classes starting at 8 a.m. The school day would end at 2:45 p.m.

The proposal recommends elementary school students arriving at about 8:45 a.m. with classes running from 9 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.

It would increase the instructional time for elementary students from the current 900 hours, which is the state's minimum requirement, said Assistant Superintendent for Elementary Services Eric Michael.

One concern for a later high school day was the amount of instructional time students could miss because of travel time to athletic events, board member Stanley Helman said.

"Not everyone is going to be happy with whatever we do," Leedy said. "The real reason we're doing this is elementary students are not getting enough instructional time."

Michael and Assistant Superintendent for Elementary Services Catherine Dusman will meet with the Parent Advisory Council on Monday, Jan. 14, to outline the administration plan.

A vote on the issue could come at the Feb. 13 board meeting. Michael said if the administration feels it cannot implement the change successfully in 2008-09, he will recommend postponing the change until 2009-10.

The Herald-Mail Articles