HISD Board of Education to Consider Streamlined Bell Schedule
Uniform start and end times for the school day expected to save HISD $1.2 million annually
The Houston Independent School District Board of Education is scheduled to vote Thursday on a plan to make the district’s transportation operation more efficient by reducing the number of start times used by HISD schools from 19 down to 4.
The proposal is projected to save $1.2 million by reducing the number of buses on Houston streets and trimming fuel costs. HISD is preparing for deep cuts in state education funding that are expected to total $78 million in the 2011-2012 school year and $127 million in 2012-2013.
Under the proposal, the standardized school start and end times would be as follows:
Elementary Schools: 7:30 a.m. to 2:45 p.m.; or 8:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.
Middle Schools: 8:45 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.
High Schools: 7:45 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.
Many Texas school districts made the switch to a standardized bus schedule years ago and HISD transportation officials developed this plan using feedback from district advisory groups and principals. Several adjustments were made to the original proposal after receiving input from these groups, which included parents, teachers, staff members, and the community.
In addition to saving $1.2 million, other potential benefits of the standardized bus schedule include:
· On average, most schools would see a 9-minute increase of instructional time per day, or 27 hours over the school year.
· Seat utilization on buses should increase on average by as much as 40 percent, equating to fewer empty seats on HISD school buses.
· Up to 100 buses would be removed from service.
· The current maximum ride time of 90 minutes may decrease to 75 minutes.
The Board’s regular monthly meeting begins at 5 p.m. on Thursday, June 9, in the Board auditorium of the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center (4400 West 18th St., 77092).
The Board is scheduled to receive status updates on a number of projects and vote on several programs, contracts, and grants. For a full copy of the Board meeting agenda, click here. The Board meeting will be carried live on HISD’s website and on the HISD Channel, which can be found on Comcast Channel 18 or AT&T Channel 99.
The Houston Independent School District is the largest school district in Texas and the seventh-largest in the United States with 298 schools and more than 200,000 students. The 301-square-mile district is one of the largest employers in the Houston metropolitan area with nearly 30,000 employees. For more information, visit the HISD Web site at www.houstonisd.org.