Gloucester County School District to Push Back Beginning of School Day

By: Katie Francis, Follow South Jersey News Reporting Intern

Photo: Kingsway Regional School District

WOOLWICH TOWNSHIP, N.J. — Gloucester County’s Kingsway Regional School District is pushing back its start times for the upcoming academic year.

The district, which includes seventh through 12th graders from East Greenwich, South Harrison, Swedesboro, Logan Township, and Woolwich, is pushing back the start times of both high school and middle school classes. According to an email sent out to members of the district, classes will begin a half-hour later than previous years.

The email highlighted the benefits of this change, and it said the daily morning arrival will feature a ”structured study component.” It also ensured there will be “little to no impact” on educational instruction, and dismissal times will not interfere with after-school activities.

This change comes after the district, along with schools across the country, dealt with a nontraditional 2020-21 school year due to COVID-19. According to the district-wide email, the decision to push the start time back was made for a few reasons. School officials took into account what students experienced throughout the pandemic. They also received feedback from a survey sent out to parents and students in the district.

The email also added that this change was influenced by the “overwhelming support of the medical community to align schedules to the natural sleep cycles of adolescents.” According to University of Michigan Health, teenagers and adolescents fall asleep an hour later at night and sleep in an hour later in the morning than younger children. This is due to the change in their biological clocks during puberty.

Kingsway Regional School District’s first day back to school is Thursday, September 2.

This article was produced by a Follow South Jersey news intern thanks to a grant provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation through the New Jersey Health Initiatives program to create hyper-local news to meet the informational and health needs of the City of Bridgeton, N.J.