• Committee Updates

    The Pennridge School District Adolescent Sleep and School Start Time Committee meets regularly and updated will be provided below.

  • 2021-2022 School Year

    The Committee presented a recommendation to the Board at the Activities Committee Meeting on February 7, 2022.  The PowerPoint presentation can be found here. In addition, the Activities Committee Meeting livestream recording can be found here.

    Comments (-1)
  • 2021-22 School Year

    The Committee continues to meet throughout the school year to discuss transportation and athletics, compare various scheduling scenarios, organize community and student forums, and prepare a second student survey.  It is the goal of the Committee to present a recommendation to the School Board of Directors in January/February 2022.

    To view Committee presentations presented to the community and School Board of Directors, please visit BoardDocs.

    Comments (-1)
  • September 2020

    On September 16, 2020, the Adolescent Sleep and School Start Time Committee met and continued discussions focusing on different scenarios for school start times.  Five different scenarios were presented and with the information provided from past committee meetings, the group was able to determine the plus and minuses for each one.  After narrowing it down to three scenarios, it was decided to  further explore each one based on transportation, bell schedules, athletics, and other areas directly impacting school start times.

    Comments (-1)
  • June 2020

    On June 17, 2020, the Committee discussed the following:

    • High School students at Pennridge submitted their work through Canvas at night, very few submitted work in the morning during COVID district closure.
    • Students are continuously late to school, more so students who drive themselves to school.
    • Committee agrees that we must move forward with this study, even while facing COVID.
    • Students lack coping skills and coming back to school in the fall is going to be tough for everyone.
    • Changing the start time is a no brainer...we need to look at curriculum and state mandates to determine the true amount of time we need each school day.
    • It was interesting that North Carolina changed their start times to be earlier to get their data. And then to see the change in those who make it to their senior year- it was good to see numbers.

    Student survey responses were reviewed

    Childcare discussed: (starting middle school first, high school second, and then elementary)

    Jess Krause – Any three tier model would work with current transportation, two tier models would increase the need for more buses and drivers.

    Minimum number of hours required by the state for elementary?  Could we shorten their day to get elementary students home earlier in the day. 990 hours are required (instructional and non-instructional time) Buses may not be available to take elementary students home earlier as buses are doing middle and high school runs.

    About how many more buses would we need if middle and high school students were bussed together?  Transportation has to roster for all students, whether they drive or are driven to school.  After first or second week of school, transportation is able to determine how many students are actually getting bussed.  Additional parking at the high school is being discussed.

    Comments (-1)
  • May 2020

    On May 19, 2020, the Committee continued to focus on student sleep hygiene.

    How does COVID affect our study?

    Transportation and how social distancing will be implemented when school returns:

    • Seat dividers being developed, would allow 24 students per bus, currently 70+ capacity
    • Sanitizer being sprayed after each route, takes approx. 10 minutes to dry and leaves film on seats that needs to be cleaned off
    • Currently many group stops, not many individual student stops
    • Protecting the drivers is another priority, masks cause glasses to fog up, buses are hot, any protective sheets/curtains are a distraction and can distort vision
      • Plexi-glass windows/shields made by students?
      • $133/separator, 22 students/bus, 77 total buses, $231,000 expense, not including small buses or vans

    Current transportation configurations, schedules per level (ES, MS, HS), private school runs and complexity, field trips, bus fleet data, etc. were discussed

    Extra buses on hand are used to fill in for buses that are being maintenanced, sports runs, etc.

    Breakout Session:

    School start time scenarios were discussed for the following:

    1. Middle 7:35/High 8:15/Elementary 9:15

    • Earliest pick up time?
    • PHS – 7am proposed pickup time?
    • Extra hour would be “very nice” per Sarah (student)
    • Strategic bussing for outlying townships, especially for middle school students
    • PHS – 3:15 end time, after school activities can begin as soon as 3:45, sports not all having to be played in the dark, students not missing as much of 11th period
    • Tech school impacts
    • Possible impacts to lunch schedule, especially for tech students
    • Most feasible scenario
    • Elementary students not getting on the bus too early but will get home 5, less need for after school care
    • Sports would be late
    • Middle school students hitting puberty/adolescent and might struggle to get up earlier

    2. Elementary 7:35/Middle 8:15/High 9:15

    • Early for elementary students
    • Dismissal times be 2:45 for elementary, much more time at after school care, safety issues
    • PHS sports and student jobs would be effected

    3. High and Middle Combined 8:00-8:15/Elementary 9:15

    • Extended arrival for middle and high school students
    • HS students wouldn’t be interested in going to middle schools first, more individual drivers or parent drivers
    • Mixing middle and high school students may cause issues
    • Long time for middle schoolers to be on the bus, mixing 6th graders with high schoolers causes issues with behavior, bad language, etc.
    • We like the timeframe
    • MS kids get off at school first or HS kids? Possibly more middle school students being driven to avoid being on bus with older HS students

    We will keep bus ride lengths the same and will not make them longer for students.

    Transportation discussion will continue at June meeting.  Student survey data will also be reviewed.

    Comments (-1)
  • February 2020

    On February 19, 2020, the Committee met and discussed the following:

    Current school start times K-12 reviewed by committee

    HS bell schedule reviewed and discussed

    • Block scheduling discussion? HS Scheduling Committee met several years ago to discuss, RAMS period decided, minutes in schedule can be shortened without making the day longer but starting earlier

    Athletics schedule reviewed and discussed

    • PIAA league has had discussion (in early stages) regarding possible changes
    • Early morning practices can still occur but will be scheduled a little later in the morning

    “Scenario” implications discussions within groups (positives and negatives)

    Transportation discussion and impacts


    KNOW and WHAT discussions within groups


    ·   Kids are tired and stressed

    ·   Research re mental health, obesity, school achievement, melatonin

    ·   Personal opinions vs research studies

    ·   Sleep is important to focus/attention


    ·   How will this affect middle school students?

    ·   What are other Bucks Co. districts doing?

    ·   Impacts on screen time?

    ·   Effects on work/jobs, homework, teacher after work schedules

    ·   How will Tech School students be affected?

    ·   Transportation, traffic patterns in the morning, student drop-off

    ·   Practice and game schedules, coordination with area districts

    ·   Athletic facility usage, how will we fit it all in with the facilities we current have

    ·   Morning practice scheduling, would those be cancelled or moved to a different time of day

    ·   Scheduling teachers that are coaches, coverage for those teachers

    ·   Effects on childcare

    ·   Effects on students who work and play sports


    Comments (-1)
  • January 2020

    On January 22, 2020, the Committee met and discussed the following:

    1. Welcome and introductions
      1. Superintendent of Schools; Dr. David Bolton

    Dr. David Bolton welcomed the members and thanked them for their interest in joining the committee.  Dr. Bolton explained that in addition to Pennridge conducting a study on adolescent sleep and school start times, many other area school districts (11 out of the 13 in Bucks County) are conducting their own studies as well.  A goal of the Pennridge Adolescent Sleep and School Start Time Committee is to make a recommendation to the School Board this fall/early 2021. 


    The recent survey, “PSD: Initial Community Feedback Survey Regarding Adolescent Sleep and School Start Time” provided great feedback from the community.


    1. Assistant Superintendent for Elementary Education; Dr. Anthony Rybarczyk (Committee Chair)

    Dr. Anthony Rybarczyk welcomed the committee and thanked them for participating.  Dr. Rybarczyk explained how the committee was selected and how each member brings valuable insight and opinions to the study.


    1. Committee members

    Students, parents/guardians, staff and district administration introduced themselves to the group.


    1. Pennridge School District Mission Statement

    The PSD Mission Statement and how it will drive our work as a committee was discussed.  See the PowerPoint presentation linked below for more information.

                Meeting PowerPoint Presentation


    1. Creating an Effective Committee
      1. Collaboration Cycle
      2. An Effective Committee
      3. Setting the Norms


    1. Why are we here?


    1. The Science of Sleep: Dr. Wendy Troxel


    1. Areas to be studied

    Committee will discuss in greater detail at the February meeting.


    1. Breakout Session: KWHL Chart Activity

    Committee will discuss at the February meeting.


    1. AFTGOTO/Social

    Committee will discuss at the February meeting.

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