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Split Sessions Underway at Wyoming Valley West

PLYMOUTH  — Wyoming Valley West High School is now the middle school as well. Students at Wyoming Valley West Middle School are sharing the building becau...

PLYMOUTH  -- Wyoming Valley West High School is now the middle school as well. Students at Wyoming Valley West Middle School are sharing the building because their classrooms were declared off limits last week.

Split sessions got underway Monday morning.

High schoolers use the building in the morning, and in the afternoon, it belongs to the middle schoolers.

Students we spoke with didn't like starting classes extra early, but they also realized the school district was short on options.

The sun wasn't up yet as students walked into Wyoming Valley West High School in Plymouth. Classes began at 7 a.m., about an hour earlier than usual.

Tenth-grader Jason Sedeski found a way to cope, and he brought it in a cup.

"It's been pretty crazy. I woke up at like 4 (a.m.). I was tired, but the coffee really helps."

Sedeski said he's working on only about three hours of sleep.

Tired appeared to be the rule of the day.

"I woke up at like 5:30 (a.m.), got ready, came here," said senior David Lanius. "I'm tired."

Lanius believes the early starts will cause his social life to suffer, but he realizes that the early start is necessary.

The school district closed Wyoming Valley West Middle School last week because of moldy classrooms and the district is now deciding on a course of action.

High school students get their building from 7 a.m. until noon. Middle schoolers take over from noon to 4 p.m. They have the same number of classes, but they are shorter.

"The shortened classes, I'm not going to be able to learn as much. It will definitely hurt all the students, not just me," said one student.

"Our classes are shortened. I can't take a big test in 30 minutes, so it's going to be rough," said senior Johnny Usavage.

It's also rough for parents. Tom Sachs has two sons on different schedules.

"I have a son who is in the middle school, who has to come here now and inconvenience my whole family because of the mold situation. This puts a monkey wrench in my whole family's living," said Sachs.

We asked the principal at the high school how they're going to handle this, how they're going to make sure students get a decent education in smaller bites. He declined to comment, saying everything has to come out of the school district's main office.

So we stopped by the superintendent's office in Kingston. Superintendent Irvin DeRemer said the schedule is a work in progress.

"If we are on it for any length of time, the administration will sit down and see if we need to tweak the schedule to maybe concentrate on our core subjects, English, History, Math, and Science," explained DeRemer.

"It's very confusing, to be completely honest," said eighth-grader Isabella Covert. "I feel bad for the sixth graders because they just came into the middle school and now they have to go to a different school."

"I was just getting used to my schedule before and now I'm going to have to learn a whole new schedule," said another student.

Superintendent DeRemer stood outside the high school, guiding middle school students where to go on their first day, hoping to make the transition easier for the noon to 4 p.m. schedule.

"I see they are trying to do their best and I give them credit for handling it," said parent Doreen Royer. "But it's just a big juggle."

"Give the students this week to get a format for their classes and getting to them in a nice timely fashion and I feel confident next week it will be old hat," said DeRemer.

And as for the mold problem that got us here in the first place, the superintendent told Newswatch 16 the district should have a report later this week on what it will take to fix the middle school.

There is still no timetable for how long the split sessions will last, but so far, the Wyoming Valley West superintendent says students, faculty, staff and parents have been very understanding.