HISD has scheduled 10 public meetings to gather community input on a plan to add 19 minutes to the average student’s school day by coordinating the bell schedule among the district’s 279 schools.
If approved, 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 this plan, every HISD school would have an instructional day that is 7 ½ hours long. Currently, HISD schools have about 20 different start and end times. Under the option presented, schools would operate on the following bell schedule:
- 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.
The cost savings in this plan would come from a much more efficient school bus operation that would allow many buses to drive more routes than is currently possible. However before a final decision is made, HISD will be gathering input at a series of community meetings held in locations throughout the district. Principals are also being asked to meet with their communities to gather additional input.
The public meetings are scheduled for the following dates and locations:
- April 3 (Tuesday) – 6-7 p.m.
- Austin HS (1700 Dumble)
- Bellaire HS (5100 Maple Street)
- Chavez HS (8501 Howard)
- April 4 (Wednesday) – 6-7 p.m.
- Lamar HS (3325 Westheimer)
- Sharpstown HS (7504 Bissonnet)
- Waltrip HS – (1900 West 34th )
- April 9 (Monday) – Noon-1 p.m.
- Hattie Mae Educational Support Center (4400 W. 18th Street)
- April 10 (Tuesday) – 6-7 p.m.
- Wheatley HS (4801 Providence)
- Worthing HS (9215 Scott)
- Yates HS (3703 Sampson)
HISD has created an online survey for parents, students, and community members to provide feedback for the proposal. The survey also includes an open comment section. It can be found on the website http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/HISDTimeSurvey.
HISD administration plans to analyze all of this feedback before making a formal proposal for the Board of Education’s consideration by May 17. A detailed description of the plan can be found on the district’s website www.houstonisd.org.