Dallas ISD Considers Changing the Hours School Starts

Everything, from daylight saving time debates to bus driver shortages, is making what time kids start school challenging

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School districts across North Texas are looking at what time school starts as they look at how to strike a balance between the post-pandemic lack of bus drivers with which hours of the day promote the best learning.

Stacy Malphurs has two kids, one in elementary school and one in middle school. She's closely watching the Dallas Independent School District's plan to shift the time kids may start their school day.

"Trying to get to 8 a.m. meetings and drop my kids off for a later start would impact my workday negatively," said Malphurs.

The district asked Stacy and all parents to weigh in on when they think school should start. There are so many things at play. 

"They start as early as 7:45 and that means some of our kiddos are at the bus stop as early as 6:15 in the morning," said Susana Cordova, deputy superintendent, Dallas ISD. 

Everything from daylight saving time debates to bus driver shortages is making what time kids start school challenging. 

"The drivers who do the first shift do the third so we don't have as many drivers, it's like a Rubik's cube of figuring it all out," said Cordova. 

The district asked parents to fill out surveys, and while buses matter both the parents and the district say they want this decision driven by times that make sense for kids.

"I can believe that's a positive shift for high school but I don't know about the earlier age brackets and we need to be operating on what's optimal for the kids," said Malphurs. 

The district plans to look at it all in hopes of striking the right balance and having a plan in place by the start of the next school year.

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