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Radnor Township Pushes High School Start Time Back Nearly An Hour

RADNOR, Pa. (CBS) -- A Delaware County school district is hitting the snooze button on school start times. Starting this fall, Radnor High School students will start their school day at 8:30 a.m.

The 8:30 start time is almost an hour later than the current time. Many parents are excited because getting kids up for school is not always easy.

"When they wake up, they are not always happy," parent Alex Hardy said.

Radnor Township will become the only school district in southeastern Pennsylvania to adjust its high school start time to align with the 8:30 a.m. start time recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Parents are excited.

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"More sleep for them and me," one parent said.

The school board made the decision Tuesday night. The change starts in the next academic school year.

"It's important to start these kids on a good sleep track from the beginning," sleep expert Dr. Thanuja Hamilton said.

Hamilton expects students to perform better in school, sports and other activities if they get the recommended nine to 10 hours of sleep.

"I would love to see all schools take this into consideration," Hamilton said.

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School leaders think more districts could follow their decision, but it came with several challenges. The later start time also meant tweaking school bus schedules and that resulted in new start times for everyone.

"We realize in order to make this work, we had to make some adjustments at the elementary and middle schools to make this work," Radnor Township School District Superintendent Ken Batchelor said.

Radnor elementary and middle schools will start roughly 10 minutes earlier in the fall, at about 8 a.m. Meantime, some parents see challenges with work because of the later school start times.

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