Wednesday, January 29

Dismissal times for each building are listed below. Lunch WILL be served.

High School: 11:35 AM
Middle School: 11:42 AM
Intermediate School: 12:15 PM
Elementary Schools: 12:30 PM
Morning Kindergarten Hours: 8:55 AM – 10:20 AM
Afternoon Kindergarten Hours: 11:10 AM – 12:30 PM

If there is a two-hour delay on January 29, school is in session that afternoon and the half-day would be moved to February 5. 

If school is closed on January 29, the half-day would move to February 5.

If there are no weather-related changes to the half-day on January 29, February 5 will remain a full-day. February 5 will only become a half-day, if there is a two-hour delay or school closing on Wednesday, January 29. 

Please contact your building principal with any questions.

Sleep Science, FAQ, Submit Questions & More

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.


Submit Questions/Comments

Parent Email – January 7, 2020

School Board Meeting Handout – January 6, 2020

Parent Email – December 20, 2019

Community Information Presentation – December 9, 2020








Young Writers USA

Ephrata High School sophomores Kimberly Earl and Leah Kreider decided to follow through on a creative writing contest made available to them through the EHS Language Arts Department and recently got word their works were selected to be published.

The Young Writers USA contest theme, “Mission Contamination,” encouraged students to write a “Survival Saga” in 100 words about a wave of contamination that almost eliminated the entire human race.

Leah wrote about a character whose father was a scientist and contributed to the demise of the contamination, while Kimberly’s story was about a girl surviving alone after losing her family in the epidemic.  Both students let their creativity drive the story that took them less than two days to write.  “I had most of it drafted in about an hour,” Kimberly said.

Young Writers USA reported over 10,000 entries were submitted.  “Choosing work is, to an extent, subjective and editors’ preferences do come into it. However, to achieve our aim of encouraging young adults to enjoy creative writing, we take a broad view of what makes a good story: perception, imagination, and creativity are important as well as expression, originality, and use of language,” explained Allie Jones, Young Writers USA Editor.

“Our aim at Young Writers has always been to get kids to be passionate and confident writers.  Having work published is a fantastic way to boost confidence and showcases writing skills as well as giving students a real audience and purpose for their writing. Having your students’ work chosen is something to be proud of,” she concluded.

“I was very surprised when I found out my piece was selected,” Leah said.  Unsure if their future careers will provide creative writing opportunities, both students say they will always have a love for reading and writing.

Mission Contamination – Tales From Pennsylvania is scheduled for publication on February 29, 2020.  A copy of the book will be sent to the United States Library of Congress in Washington D.C.

Kimberly and Leah received certificates to mark their achievement and will find out in April if they are a grand prize recipient of the Young Writers’ Award of Excellence.  One winner will receive an iPad and a trophy, and three runners-up will receive $50 Amazon gift cards.


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.

Hour of Code

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®, 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

Akron Elementary School Courtyard Project

The Ephrata Review – November 6, 2019


Akron Elementary School kids shine at school board meeting

By Marylouise Sholly

Akron fourth-graders and their teachers showed the Ephrata Area School Board just how talented they can be and what they can accomplish when motivated.

During a presentation at the school board meeting on Oct. 21 in the Akron Elementary School, students displayed their project of a renovated courtyard which actually took two fourth grades to work on – one last year and the current students.

Fourth-grade teacher Kristen Selzer told the board about the courtyard design challenge and initial layout, which began last year and which was student-led, and the actual construction that began this year.

The courtyard requires a few finishing touches and when complete, will be used as an outdoor teaching area, Selzer said.

An Art Showcase was Oct. 29 at Akron Elementary School for area residents who wanted to see the students’ artwork, mural, and sensory pathway they created.

The students were able to participate in the artist-in-residence program through a grant from the Ephrata Area Education Foundation Venture grant.

Selzer and several students showed the board members what the kids had accomplished after a walk Monday evening from the auditorium to the newly designed courtyard.

Accompanying them was the school’s artist-in-residence, Katie Trainer from Millersville University, who guided the students with the project.

Fourth-grade teachers Kristen Rubeck and Ryan Levan were also integral to the courtyard transformation project.

Selzer also credited Bryan Redcay, director of facilities, with his help on the project, the construction of which began this past summer.

The courtyard had been a grassy, brushy area that was hard to maintain and little-used, Selzer said. After the area is completely revamped, with outdoor furniture included, it can be used by teachers for their students, Selzer said.

“On nice days, teachers can bring their students out here for a class,” Selzer said.

Still to come is a pergola to make sure there is some shade in the outdoor area.

First up, after a design had been decided upon, several students used an Adobe Spark computer program to create a sign for the courtyard area.

Next, using all sorts of smooth stones and rounded rocks, the students created a sensory walkway.

Also designed by the kids was a slate walkway. Intermingling with the slate and stone path will be artificial grass.

During the project, the kids learned about everything from geometric design to how to mix concrete, Selzer said.

“It’s a theme throughout the district to include students in projects like this,” said Sarah McBee, public relations coordinator for the district. “This was student-driven, shows a lot of initiative, and gave the students a choice to do what they wanted, to help them ‘own it.’ ”

Two dozen students and a few adults worked on making the walkway, Selzer said.

“It’s a sensory path and it’s supposed to be very calming,” Selzer said.

The next addition to the courtyard will be a four-feet-tall and 12-feet wide mosaic, also created by the students, who were given direction by artist Trainer.

“They worked hard on this and it’s really impressive,” Selzer said. “The design is from last year’s fourth-graders, and these guys just picked it up and ran with it. They were very diligent and they’ve done a tremendous job.” The multi-colored mosaic is made of glass and ceramic pieces and it has a name, “The Wave of Knowledge.” In one corner of the mosaic, the word “Mounts” pays homage to the district.

“It’s amazing what they’ve accomplished,” said Kristee Reichard, business manager for the school district. “You give the kids a project and they run with it.”

Small Business Saturday Scavenger Hunt

It’s likely you’ve heard of Small Business Saturday.  It falls every year on the day after Black Friday to encourage shoppers to support local businesses.  This year, a group of Ephrata High School students helped to localize this national initiative and engage shoppers in downtown Ephrata with a Small Business Saturday Scavenger Hunt.

Students created a variety of Scavenger Hunt cards that list participating Ephrata businesses, each with a related question or task to perform at the business and shopping item suggestions.

“The students did a fantastic job.  They traveled to downtown businesses to do marketing research and used their graphic design skills to create the cards,” said Ephrata High School teacher Greg LoPiccolo.

From the assortment of Scavenger Hunt concepts and card designs, Mainspring of Ephrata Executive Director Kelly Withum selected a winning card.

The cards will be available to customers throughout downtown Ephrata businesses on Saturday, November 30, Small Business Saturday.  Completed cards should then be turned into the Mainspring of Ephrata office at Whistle Stop Plaza to be entered into a drawing.  A winner will be selected on December 18 to win a gift basket.