A Clear Creek Independent School District committee is asking for the public’s input about two possible options for daily schedules next year, one that would keep start times the same as they are now, and the other that would push them back by about 20 minutes.
Elementary schools in the county’s largest school district begin each day at 7:55 a.m. and finish at 3:15 p.m. High schools begin at 7:10 a.m. and end at 2:30 p.m., and intermediate schools start the latest, at 8:40 a.m., and end at 4 p.m.
But district administrators are weighing whether to keep that schedule in place next year, or move the schedule back by about 20 minutes, officials said.
District administrators commissioned the committee to look into school start times in response to parents asking them to look at research suggesting high school students would perform better if school started later, said Elaina Polsen, spokeswoman for the district.
“It’s really valid medical research, but you can’t make decisions like that in isolation,” Polsen said.
Committee members had to consider various proposals in light of other logistical concerns, such as bus schedules.
Members of the district’s school start committee have been unable to reach a consensus on which proposal to recommend to the district’s board of trustees and are thus looking for public input, officials said.
“A large portion of the committee wanted to keep the current schedule, and a slightly smaller portion of the committee wanted to adjust the current schedule by 20 minutes,” said Rene Falls, chairperson of the committee.
Committee members narrowed down the list of proposed start times from an initial five potential schedules, officials said. Each possibility had a minimum of 45 minutes between school start times and adhered to the state law that a school year must be 75,600 minutes.
Intermediate schools had to start last because of transportation logistics involving the district’s magnet schools, Falls said.
The committee, comprised of 38 people, including parents, students and district staff, began meeting in September, officials said.
Residents can make public comment about the options until the committee reconvenes on Tuesday to settle on a final recommendation, officials said. Members of the committee will then bring the proposal before the board of trustees on Nov. 11.
The trustees will make a final decision during a Nov. 18 meeting, officials said.