80-Minute Classes and an 8:30am Start Time
Our 80-minute classes allow for deeper, more experiential learning. In addition to lectures, teachers have time to hold in-class activities and follow up on those activities within the same class period. Classes are less rushed, allowing teachers and students time to fully dive into the subject material. With fewer classes per day (four instead of six) there is time saved in less commuting between classes, settling in and winding down. Consequentially, with just four classes per day, there is also less homework to navigate each night – students can better focus on the homework they do have, leaving them less exhausted and stressed out.
Another benefit: The first class begins at 8:30am. Formerly, classes began at 8:00am. On Wednesdays, classes don't start until 9:00am. Research has shown that teenagers are chronically sleep deprived, due to circadian rhythms that biologically keep them up later at night and put them at a disadvantage first thing in the morning. "We felt this issue was worth acting on while we wait for other schools to catch up to the science," Director of Studies Rick Tony told The Intelligencer, a regional newspaper, which covered the epidemic of teen sleep deprivation.
Our dining hall is open for those who need to be on campus early due to public school district bus schedules – those students can still save time by eating breakfast in our dining hall instead of at home.
IN THE NEWS
Business Insider and The Intelligencer have interviewed Director of Studies Rick Tony about our new later start times.
Channel One News interviewed Director of Admission Scott Eckstein and several Solebury School students about our schedule, sharing how later school start times benefit the teenage brain.
More on Sleep Deprivation
For a deep-dive into this topic, watch the Why School Should Start Later for Teens TEDx Talk. "Teens don't get enough sleep, and it's not because of Snapchat, social lives or hormones — it's because of public policy," says Wendy Troxel. Drawing from her experience as a sleep researcher, clinician and mother of a teenager, Troxel discusses how early school start times deprive adolescents of sleep during the time of their lives when they need it most.
The Schedule Committee
To create the schedule, we assembled a committee including teachers, department heads, extra-curricular advisors and others: Director of Studies Rick Tony, Assistant Head of School Steve Buteux, Admission Director Scott Eckstein, Athletic Director Robert Eichem, Math Dept. Chair Britta Milks, Science teacher Jon Freer, Head of World Languages Helen Matthews, Middle School Director and Science Dept. Chair Cari Nelson, Visual Arts Dept. Chair Erika Fairchild, ESL Director Cinnie Wappel, Director of Learning Skills Tom Rondeau, Librarian Hanna Howe, English Dept. Chair Diane Downs and Social Studies Dept. Chair Peter Ammirati. The schedule we devised was voted on by our entire faculty and approved with great support and enthusiasm.
For questions about the schedule and how it relates to course selection, please contact Director of Studies Rick Tony at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For transportation questions related to morning arrivals, please contact Director of Transportation Peter Redmond P'13 at email@example.com.