New CISD Start and End Times Result in Revised School Calendar
The start and end times for school will be changing for the 2017-2018 school year. The reason for the change is based on several factors including safety of students and staff, meeting the required instructional minutes as indicated by the state, as well as research.
CISD is opening a new middle school this fall and transitioning 5th and 6th grades to Collins Intermediate School. These school locations will require access to the same streets and highways as those who are traveling west toward Corsicana High School. For safety considerations and traffic flow, staggered school start times were given a priority.
Another consideration in determining start/end times included the state’s attendance law. House Bill (HB) 2610 amended the Texas Education Code, by changing the language requiring 180 days of instruction and replacing the measurement with minutes. Now, school districts are required to provide at least 75,600 minutes of instruction. This bill also allows school districts to add minutes as necessary to compensate for minutes of instruction lost due to school closures caused by disaster, flood, extreme weather conditions, or other unexpected emergency.
Research regarding teenagers and sleep patterns consistently indicates that the later school start times are beneficial to the health and well-being of middle school and high school students whose sleep cycles shift as they enter adolescence. With this research in mind, as well as attendance trends in high school, CISD began to explore the possibility of later start times.
In May, CISD administration proposed a start/end schedule and conducted a survey with 1500 responses. The survey responses came back with approximately half of the responses in favor of change, and half did not agree with the proposed times.
Based on the survey responses, CISD administration went back to campus principals, teachers, parents and students to re-evaluate and bring another option for school start and end times. This option included less minutes per day which required revising the approved 2017-18 School Calendar to add two school days at the start of school.
Changes to the original calendar included removing four of the eight half days and adding two instructional days at the beginning of the calendar making the first day of school Thursday, Aug. 17 as opposed to Aug. 21.
The CISD Board approved a revised School Calendar and new start/end times for 2017-2018 in a special meeting held May 25. The revised calendar includes 174 instructional days and the appropriate minutes per day to be compliant with state attendance laws.
If any questions arise as a result of the revised school calendar, please contact the district communications office, 903 -874-7441.