PARIS — SAD 17 Director of Curriculum Heather Manchester presented information to directors Monday, June 17, regarding the benefits of implementing a later start to the school day for teenage students.

There is science-driven evidence which shows melatonin secretion changes during puberty, she said.

“Teenagers are wired to stay up later and sleep in later,” she explained. “In puberty, they experience up to a two-hour shift in sleep onset and wake up time.”

The curriculum committee researched two options, she added. The first, single-tier busing, calls for a more uniformed start the the school day across all grade levels. It would require more buses and bus drivers. The district is already struggling to find bus drivers, she said.

The second option would be altering start times of school. Currently, grades 7-12 start the day at 7:30 a.m., she said. Under the proposal, the day would start at 9 a.m. and end at 3:22 p.m.

Pre-K through grade 6 currently starts at 8:30 a.m. Under the proposal, those classes would begin at 8 a.m. and end at 2:30 p.m.

“Younger kids are up and ready to go,” she added.

“There are three significant studies that found teens don’t stay up later when late start is introduced,” she noted. “The advantages include improved grades in first and second period classes, in particular. Some districts saw improved standardized test scores in some districts. There has also been a significant reduction in car accidents.”

Items that need to be considered before making a final presentation to the board include:

•Impact to sports schedules and other co-curricular activities.

•Food service delivery to Pre-k – 6 schools.

•Childcare concerns with parents.

•Impact to staff.

•Impact to Oxford Hills Technical School.

“The committee is going to start researching some of these questions over the summer and will convene a parent group for input,” she said.

Manchester said the committee hoped to present a recommendation to the board by December so that, if approved, it could be implemented for the 2020-21 year.

Other business

More than $830,000 in scholarships were awarded to Oxford Hill High School graduating seniors and post graduates at Class Night, said Superintendent Rick Colpitts. “$250,000 of that is what I call ‘mom and pop’ scholarships, smaller local scholarships,” he said. “I don’t know of any other district, public or private, that had that amount of money for students to pursue education after high school.”

Colpitts informed directors there were no updates regarding at June 4 break-in at Oxford Hills Middle School.

According to Colpitts’ administrative report to the board, police are investigating the break-in and theft of student laptops. “They have identified a person of interest and are hopeful to complete their investigation shortly,” Colpitts wrote in his report.

“I talked to School Resource Officer Tim Holland,” Colpitts told the board. “He is not doing the investigation but is aware that the conditions in my report have not changed. They are dealing with it and can not give an update at this time.”

The also board welcomed new Director Amanda Fearon of Hebron. Fearon was appointed by selectmen to replace former director Elizabeth Swift. Swift did not seek reelection and no one stepped up to run for the position.