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Bethel Park considering pushing back high school start time so students can sleep more

Adjusted school start times (Pt. 1)
Adjusted school start times (Pt. 1) 02:11

BETHEL PARK, Pa. (KDKA) -- Another Pittsburgh-area school district is considering moving its high school start time back so students can get more sleep.

The Bethel Park School District is seeking community input through a survey on its school start times, especially the high school. The district notes in its survey that studies show adolescents can benefit academically from later start times and more sleep. 

The high school currently starts at 7:25 a.m. The district says buses begin picking students up anywhere from 5 to 45 minutes before that, meaning some students could be catching the bus as early as 6:40 a.m. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says getting enough sleep helps students stay focused and improves academic performance. Children and adolescents who don't get enough sleep have a higher risk for health problems like obesity, type 2 diabetes and poor mental health, the CDC says.

Citing The American Academy of Sleep Medicine, the CDC says students 13 to 18 years old should be getting 8 to 10 hours of sleep a night. Students 6 to 12 years old are recommended to get 9 to 12 hours per night.

Pittsburgh Public Schools and Upper St. Clair have recently adjusted their school start times so students can get more sleep. 

The Bethel Park School District said it's considering pushing back its high school start time but acknowledges "that any change can have ramifications beyond the classroom." The district has convened a subcommittee to research the issue and report its findings. Families can take the survey about start times online

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