Top Stories

Seneca Valley School District considering changing start time

Who doesn’t want a little more sleep in the morning?

Seneca Valley School District is looking into delaying its start times for some grades, saying studies show more sleep helps student succeed.

Most high schoolers in the district have to get up pretty early to catch the bus; sometimes they are waking up at 6 a.m. or earlier. But for two years, the district has been examining sleep studies, students and the benefits of starting the school day a little bit later.

The district is interviewing current students, teachers, staff and parents to get their input.


“I see both sides, but I do wonder how will that work with getting kids out the door and people’s work schedules,” said Jessica McKivigan, who has a child in the district.

Seneca Valley isn’t alone in this process. Fox Chapel, Hampton and North Allegheny are also looking at starting later, and Quaker Valley made some changes for this school year.

Seneca Valley is talking about a 30-minute difference.

If approved for the 2018-19 school year, students in seventh through 12th grades would start at 8:09 a.m. instead of 7:34 a.m., and dismiss at 2:41 p.m. instead of 2:30 p.m.

Kindergarten through sixth grade would also see a change, with a 9 a.m. start time compared to 8:40 a.m., and a 3:30 p.m. dismissal instead of 310 p.m.

“Who wouldn’t want 30 more minutes to sleep in?” said Tammy Kaufmann, who has a child in the district.

Seneca Valley is still examining its options – this isn’t a done deal yet.