Pine Valley classes may start earlier

SOUTH DAYTON – Classes in the fall may start earlier for Pine Valley Central School students and teachers. High school principal Paul Mihalko presented a proposed draft bell schedule at a recent school board meeting.

Mihalko said the lunch periods are often crowded and it is hard to get all the students in and out of the lunch room during the lunch periods. The proposed bell schedule would include three lunches to accommodate students who attend BOCES.

“… We looked at the situation possibly going to three lunches. We technically do have that now with the BOCES kids. We try to get as many as we can into the lunch room at 11 o’clock right now so they don’t have to eat over at BOCES. That is a cost for us,” Mihalko said.

The proposed eight-period schedule starts 10 minutes earlier and aligns more with distant learning classes for other districts. The first period would be 52 minutes in length, which would include breakfast and homeroom. All BOCES students would be able to take physical education at Pine Valley, a benefit for the students. Three lunches would be more evenly distributed with 22 minutes in length. The end time of 2:30 p.m., also aligns with other districts which helps out for merging sports.

“(Sports) practice starts at 3:10 (p.m.). if we end a bit earlier, we can get there,” Mihalko said.

Some of the cons would be a need for extra help for lunch periods and teachers would be required to be in school earlier. Teachers would be released earlier at about 3:05 p.m. There was some questions about highway crews clearing the streets in winter with an earlier start time. Since the school day is only starting 10 minutes early, the district should not have a problem.

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