In recent years, there has been increased scientific research related to adolescent sleep. As a result, a growing number of school districts have made changes to school start times. Since last spring, the Ephrata Area School District has been studying a significant body of research on this topic to ensure school times within the District meet the sleep patterns of our students.
The study included the review of research on adolescent sleep patterns and its impact on student performance and well-being.
- The District has consulted with WellSpan Health to learn from licensed psychologists who have compiled research on school start times and the importance of adolescent sleep.
- Data from Ephrata Area School District parent and student surveys on sleep habits continue to be reviewed and used as a reference. A summary of this data is available here.
- There has been an assessment of the impact of any potential time changes to transportation, athletics, extracurricular activities, food service, and other District operations.
- Additionally, leaders are learning from others’ experiences as they glean insight from districts who have already adjusted their school times.
Ephrata Area School District leaders will continue to explore options while facilitating conversations with stakeholders, including School Board members, teaching staff, and District families, to meet this goal. A community information session was held on Monday, December 9, and it is anticipated a recommendation to adjust school start times for the 2020-2021 school year will be made to the School Board in early 2020.
“This effort represents an additional way that we as a district can look at research about how to best serve our students. It helps us identify ways to better align District operations to reflect this research and to improve how we serve students,” said Superintendent Dr. Brian Troop.
As this study continues and potential next steps are determined, information will be made readily available on the District website or sent directly to parents and guardians as necessary.
- American Journal of Public Health: School Start Time and Adolescent Sleep Patterns
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Most US middle and high schools start the school day too early
- Commonwealth of PA: Sleep Deprivation in Adolescents: The Case for Secondary School Start Times
- Dept. of Health & Human Services: School Start Times, Behavioral, Health, and Academic Outcomes
- Education Commission of the States: Later Education Start Times in Adolescence
- Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry: Sleep Restriction Worsens Mood and Emotion Regulation in Adolescents
- Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine: Recommended Amount of Sleep for Pediatric Population
- Journal of the National Sleep Foundation: Delayed High School Start Times and Impact on Graduation and Attendance Rates
- Journal of the National Sleep Foundation: The Economic Implications of Later School Start Times in the U.S.
- Mindshift: How A Later School Start Time Pays Off For Teens
- National Center for Education Statistics
- NPR: Later School Start Time Pays Off For Teens
- Psychology Today: The New Science of Sleep
- Rand: Later School Start Times in the U.S.
- SAGE Journals: High School Start Times and Student Academic Outcomes
- Sinai Grace Hospital, Northville Public Schools: Association of Sleep Groups and Sleep Survey Results of High School Students
- Science Advances: Later School Start Times are Associated with More Sleep and Better Performance in High School Students
- Science News for Students: Exam Scores Benefit From Months of Regular Sleep
- University of Washington: Teens Get More Sleep, Show Improved Grades and Attendance with Later School Start Time
- WellSpan Health: School Start Time and the Importance of Adolescent Sleep
- WITF: Starting School Later – Possible Solution to Kids’ Sleep Deprivation Crisis?
- Yahoo: Doctors Say This Is What Happens When Teens Don’t Get Enough Sleep
Every scheduled District half-day is also a STEAM day for elementary students. Students in Kindergarten through Grade 4 enjoy interactive assemblies and hands-on lessons led by representatives from ZooAmerica, Whitaker Center, Science Explorers, and Maryland Science Center. “These lessons, now widely anticipated by elementary students, focus of core science topics through grade-level, hand-on activities,” said Tracy Blunt, Clay Elementary School Principal. Funding for the STEAM days is provided by the Ephrata Area Education Foundation. “This is a perfect example of what the Foundation can do by using their resources to create transformational learning experiences for kids,” concluded Dr. Troop.
Students Districtwide participated in a variety of Hour of Code activities throughout the month of December with millions of other students across the world. While some students enjoyed lessons available on Code.org®, others demonstrated their learning through different coding projects.
Statistics predict computer science jobs will soon surpass the number of individuals qualified for these positions. Hour of Code was created as a grassroots campaign to encourage more people to become involved in computer science. Learn more about Hour of Code on www.Code.org.
Ephrata Area School District Named Outstanding Visual Arts Community in Pennsylvania
Ephrata Area School District was named a 2019 Outstanding Visual Arts Community by the Pennsylvania Art Education Association (PAEA) for their ongoing commitment to visual arts and a well-rounded educational experience. Ephrata Area School District was among 57 districts across Pennsylvania and five districts in Lancaster County to receive this distinction.
According to PAEA, districts receiving this endorsement demonstrate the importance of their visual arts programs with:
- Rigorous and Inclusive Programs: Arts programs demonstrate rigor using standards-based curriculum taught at every level by highly qualified and certified arts educators.
- Highly Accessible Programs: Art programs are offered to all studentsat every level of education with a sustainable budget for the visual arts.
- Highly Visible Programs: Schools and districts identify their programmatic accomplishments, curriculum for all levels, art staff, mission statements, and arts events using their school websites and social media.
Ephrata Area School District values the importance of a well-rounded education with opportunities for students to engage in arts education in all grade levels. “Our community has a strong history of valuing the all of the arts. I am so proud that the students and staff of our district can contribute to it in authentic projects like the murals downtown,” said Dr. Brian Troop, District Superintendent.
“We commend Ephrata Area School District for their active role in providing arts education opportunities for students and receiving the endorsement of Outstanding Visual Arts Community 2019,” said Dr. Stacy Potter, PAEA Advocacy and Policy Chair.
We look forward to celebrating Patriot Day with students on Wednesday, September 11!
Activities and learning opportunities inspired by Patriot Day and the heroes of 9/11 will be incorporated Districtwide on Wednesday. District administrators and teachers have developed age-appropriate content to help students learn more about Patriot Day and the many heroes who took part in the national response to the tragic event and continue to keep us all safe today.
The scope of this content will look very different at each age level. While High School activities may include watching news coverage from the morning of September 11, 2001 and discussing how the effects of that day impacted the world, students in elementary schools will have a much broader experience recognizing heroes who go above and beyond in times of need, including our military, emergency responders, and more.
Patriot Day also provides an opportunity to discuss the importance of living a life with Resiliency and Grit – a key component of our Districtwide Life Ready Graduate profile.
If you have any concerns about your child’s involvement in any Patriot Day activities, please contact your building principal.
Dr. Brian Troop, Superintendent
Dr. Jacy Clugston Hess, Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Education
Dr. Rick Hornberger, Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Education
Did you know Ephrata High School offers a preschool program for children ages 3 through 5?
There are still a few spots available in the fall session, which runs from Tuesday, October 22 – Thursday, December 19. Classes are Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays form 8:45 AM – 10:20 AM.
Children must be between the ages of 3 and 5 (have not not attended kindergarten) and live in the Ephrata Area School District.
Please contact Mrs. Vicki Socie at email@example.com for more information or to register.