PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Students in the Pittsburgh Public Schools were met with some changes as they returned to the classroom today.

In an effort to increase safety, Superintendent Linda Lane said the district has made some security changes this year.

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She says the district paid attention to what happened at Franklin Regional, but had also made changes before that incident.

“We are very careful. We do pay attention and are continually reviewing how we’re handling security,” Dr. Lane said.

Another notable change for the district this year is all students are eligible for free breakfast and lunch.

“Students in Pittsburgh Public Schools will be eligible — all of them no matter what the family income is — for a free meal at school every day,” Dr. Lane said.

The free meals, says Lane, are possible because of taxpayer-supported federal and state programs designed to make sure no child is hungry at school.

The superintendent says studies show that a well-fed child makes for a better student who has “mental alertness and ability to apply themselves to instruction.”

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Dr. Lane joined the “KDKA Morning News” with Larry Richert and John Shumway to talk in-depth about the changes that are taking place at Pittsburgh Public Schools this year.

Some pediatricians and others are suggesting that a later start time to school would benefit teenage students, who would be able to get more sleep.

“There are other factors other than sleep we have to consider when we set start times for kids,” Dr. Lane said.

The most important one, in her opinion, is safety. She says that if the older students go to school later and the younger kids go to school earlier, that could be a hazard for the young students waiting for the bus in the dark.

“Especially in the winter months,” Dr. Lane said.

Listen to the full interview here:

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