Education

Changes might be headed to P-O middle school

The Philipsburg-Osceola Area School District is considering a proposal to adjust starting times at the middle school.
The Philipsburg-Osceola Area School District is considering a proposal to adjust starting times at the middle school. Centre Daily Times, file

Some people in the Philipsburg-Osceola Area School District said middle school start times are too early for some students.

Superintendent Gregg Paladina said it can start as early as the first bus pickups at 6:15 a.m.

Students arrive to school about 7:15 a.m. and the first class is underway by 7:35. The day ends at 2:35 p.m.

By pushing it back, Paladina said it might help students function better while making sure they’re not standing in the dark waiting for a school bus to pick them up.

Paladina said research shows children perform better when they have more rest.

That’s one of the reasons the district is looking into changing start and end times of the middle school.

“It’s not set in stone, but it’s something we’ll discuss,” he said. “When I got here a few years ago, it was something people were talking about, and we looked into it periodically. Now, we’re taking another look at it.”

A public meeting regarding the information might be scheduled for later this month or early in July.

“We want to let people know a plan when we have one,” Paladina said. “As soon as we know, so will they, but what’s worrisome is if we don’t do it by the end of July, (then) we’ll have to wait until next year.”

The middle school operates on a similar schedule to the high school. If changed, Paladina said the middle school would go on the same schedule as P-O elementary schools, pushing the time to about 8:15 a.m. with an 8:35 first class start time, and ending at 3:20 p.m.

The Philipsburg-Osceola Area Middle School was created three years ago when fifth- and sixth-graders who attended North Lincoln Hill Elementary were combined with seventh- and eighth-graders who attended the now-closed P-O junior high.

“At one time, all of our students were all on the same time, but they moved that back,” Paladina said. “We would align the middle school to ride buses together with the elementary schools, making the first pickup time around 6:45 (a.m.).”

Paladina said the change would come at no cost to the district.

Britney Milazzo: 814-231-4648, @M11azzo

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