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Lower Merion School District


Sleep & School Start Times

Update: May 2023: At the May 8, 2023, Education Committee and Supplementary Education Committee meeting, Acting Superintendent Megan E. Shafer shared an update on the ongoing work to address concerns that were raised by the community and recognized by the Board, when they voted in favor of changing school start times for September 2024.

To address concerns about elementary school ending after 4:00 p.m., Ms. Shafer shared several different bell schedules with slight adjustments to the length of the school day at various levels and/or starting the middle school slightly earlier. These various options can be found on pages 8 through 11 of the presentation available here. Feedback about these possible adjustments can be shared with the Board by emailing

In addition to the various modifications, Ms. Shafer noted that discussions were underway with Right At School about their ability to staff a short before-care option for families needing a small window of childcare prior to the start of the elementary school day. These discussions include the potential cost for Right At School staff and also internal discussions about other ways to staff and pay for that supervision.

Finally, she noted ongoing efforts to gather staff voice and support them through the transition, including conversations with the Lower Merion Education Association and a planned staff survey in Fall 2023, as well as the connection among start times and other wellness and Policy work, and she outlined the communications planning around the transition.

The full presentation deck can be viewed here and the full meeting video can be viewed here.

Video Playback from the Community Meeting on Tuesday, October 25, 2022