In a press release obtained by News 92 FM, the Houston Independent School District (HISD) has scheduled ten public meetings to gather community input on a plan to increase class time. The proposed plan would add 19 minutes to the average student’s school day by coordinating the bell schedule among the district’s 279 schools.
HISD offers the following should the plan be approved: “If the plan is approved, then the extra 19 minutes of daily instructional time would be equal to an extra seven full days of school by the end of the school year. In addition, the plan would save HISD $1.2 million as the district seeks to address a $34 million deficit caused by the Texas Legislature’s decision last year to cut public funding.”
Under the extended day proposed by HISD, every school in the district would have an instructional day that is 7 ½ hours long. Currently the school district has approximately 20 different start and end times. Under the presented option, HISD would have the following start and ending times for schools in the district:
· Approximately half of all elementary schools would operate from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
· Approximately half of all elementary schools would operate from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
· All middle schools would operate from 7:45 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.
· All high schools would operate from 8:45 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.
HISD also cites the cost saving measures of the proposed plan. For example, the school district would be able to more efficiently and economically allow many buses to drive more routes than what the current school times allow. Before a final decision is made about the proposed plan, HISD is asking for community input and discussion about the proposed extensions of class time. The following meetings will take place for communities to gather and add input:
April 3 (Tuesday) – 6-7PM
Austin HS (1700 Dumble)
Bellaire HS (5100 Maple Street)
Chavez HS (8501 Howard)
April 4 (Wednesday) – 6-7PM
Lamar HS (3325 Westheimer)
Sharpstown HS (7504 Bissonnet)
Waltrip HS – (1900 West 34th )
April 9 (Monday) – Noon-1 PM
Hattie Mae Educational Support Center (4400 W. 18th Street)
April 10 (Tuesday) – 6-7 PM
Wheatley HS (4801 Providence)
Worthing HS (9215 Scott)
Yates HS (3703 Sampson)
HISD has also made an online survey for parents, students, and community members to provide feedback for the proposed time changes. For that survey, CLICK HERE.
HISD administration will be analyzing the feedback before making a formal proposal for the Board of Education’s consideration by May 17. CLICK HERE for a detailed description of the plan can be found on the district’s website