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Danville, PA: District to shorten school day/reduce class load to improve mental health of students

Jan 24, 2020, Williamsport, PA, Danville Area School District shortens school day to improve student mental health A shortened school day for Danville Area School District students aims to improve student mental health and access to support services. The school board unanimously voted Wednesday to shorten the school day by 45 minutes starting next fall, reducing students' curriculum load by one period per day…. In part, the changes to the school day and curriculum arose in the aftermath of one middle school student's suicide on Nov. 29, 2019. Ten high school students were hospitalized for suicidal ideations or attempted suicide this year, Principal Winn said. Approximately seven middle school students were hospitalized this year for similar reasons…. "There was an overwhelming response by students talking about stress, anxiety, depression, mental health or attempted suicides," Principal Winn said. About 35% of students revealed they struggled with these issues, which Principal Winn said is close to the national average…. The school board also approved a new position at Wednesday's meeting: Mike Brennan was hired as a personalized learning teacher. "We've noticed such an increase in the number of students who had hospitalizations or needed more support. We are excited about the addition of a personalized learning teacher," Principal Winn said….

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