A Message from Dr. Melissa Gilbert, President of the Lower Merion Board of School Directors
As most of our community are aware, The Lower Merion Board of School Directors is considering how to provide later start times for high school students, as recommended by health professionals, aligned with our strategic plan, and strongly supported by the community. The discussion to move to a later start time for high school students began several years ago in response to research supporting optimal education outcomes for students K-12.
As part of the logistical considerations related to this decision, the District is submitting its Application for Tentative Sketch to Lower Merion Township for a plan to install lights at Lower Merion High School's Arnold Field. Lighting the field will be necessary to enable safe after-school games and practices if later start times are implemented. While there are additional logistical constraints to be addressed, lights on Arnold Field are critical. The plan has been the subject of numerous public meetings:
- Nov. 14, 2019: Work order for the Preliminary Plan Application was discussed by the Lower Merion Board of School Directors Facilities and Purchasing Committee
- Nov. 18, 2019: Work order for the Preliminary Plan Application was approved by the Lower Merion Board of School Directors
- Dec. 12, 2019: Work order for the design work was discussed by the Lower Merion Board of School Directors Facilities and Purchasing Committee
- Dec. 16, 2019: Work order for the design work was approved by the full Lower Merion Board of School Directors
- Feb. 11, 2020: Wynnewood Civic Association Meeting
- March 4, 2020: Community meeting with Wynnewood and N. Ardmore Civic Associations at Lower Merion High School
- March 25, 2020: Project was part of the LMSD Operations Department's budget presentation to the Finance Committee of the Lower Merion of Board of School Directors
This application will be an agenda item at an upcoming Intergovernmental Meeting in May with representatives from LMSD, Lower Merion Township and Narberth Borough, with the exact date and platform still to be determined. We welcome community comment and will continue to identify opportunities for community engagement.
Per Lower Merion Township's procedure, the application will be reviewed at public meetings of the Planning Commission, Building and Planning Committee, and Board of Commissioners. Township residents are able to comment on applications at these meetings. The Township has canceled its May Planning Commission meeting due to the COVID-19 situation. LMSD will share further updates about meeting dates and commenting procedures regarding this application when they are known.