Quick night for U-CF board

It was a calm night for the Unionville-Chadds Ford School Board Monday. Directors appointed a supervisor of transportation, heard a brief update on how the later school start time affected students and heard a preliminary report on the new statewide School Safety and Security Committee.

The board appointed Marco Sordi to be the new head of the Transportation Department at a salary of $95,000 effective Oct. 1 of this year. His hire allows Marie Wickersham to go back to the single job as food service supervisor. She had been serving in both capacities.

Assistant Superintendent John Nolen gave an update on the results of the school start time change that went into effect last year. High school and middle school start times were backed up by 25 minutes for this last year and will continue for the 2018-2019 academic year.

Nolen said surveys indicated students "are sleeping more, on average anywhere from 15 to 20 minutes of sleep per night…[with] the biggest effect being on seventh-grade students where it’s about 30 minutes…Students are reporting the change has been positive."

He added that some teachers were reporting that students seemed to be more alert throughout the day.

There have been some mixed notices, however. Nolen said that the number of sports-related concussions was down, but that middle school tardiness increased. He also said most students are still not getting the average eight to 10 hours of sleep per night as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

To determine the overall effect would take another two to three years, he said.

Superintendent of Schools John Sanville appointed James Whitesel, the new supervisor of buildings and grounds, to be the district’s safety and security coordinator after Whitesel briefed the board on the new requirement.

Whitesel explained that recently enacted Act 44 called for the state to establish a school safety and security committee. He said the committee is tasked with creating assessment standards and evaluation instruments regarding school safety. However, he said, there has only been one meeting so far and there are more questions than answers at this point.

The board’s next regular meeting is Monday, Aug. 20. Classes resume in the district on Monday, Aug. 27.

 

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About Rich Schwartzman

Rich Schwartzman has been reporting on events in the greater Chadds Ford area since September 2001 when he became the founding editor of The Chadds Ford Post. In April 2009 he became managing editor of ChaddsFordLive. He is also an award-winning photographer.

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