NewsEducation / February 26, 2018

Start Times Could Change For All IPS Schools

School start times for all Indianapolis Public Schools’ students could change in the 2018-19 academic year as the district prepares for its new high school model.Indianapolis Public Schools, IPS, school transportation2018-02-26T00:00:00-05:00
Start Times Could Change For All IPS Schools

Children outside an IPS school.

Indianapolis Public Schools

School start times for all Indianapolis Public Schools’ students could change in the 2018-19 academic year as the district prepares for its new high school model.

Starting today IPS will hold four public meetings this week to gather input on the proposed changes and how it could impact families child care and afterschool activities. The school board could vote on the issue in March.

District leaders say they need to balance transportation resources and make sure students are getting to school well rested and ready to learn. 

Today buses run on three tiers to get more than 20,000 students to school on time. Middle and high schools start at 7:20 a.m. and elementary schools start at 8:15 or 9:20 a.m.

But that goes against medical studies that recommend middle and high school start times should be no earlier than 8:30 a.m. The American Academy of Pediatrics supports schools start later in the morning for teens to help their physical health and mental health.

IPS transportation director Manny Mendez says the district’s new “all choice” high school model would put too much strain on the transportation service if it remained operating in three tiers. The $38 million transportation budget is not expected to increase, he says.

More than 400 buses operate daily to transport students. Of those about 305 are operated by the Illinois-based Durham School Services and IPS operates 107 buses. But Mendez says he could use 30 more drivers.

Next school year high school students will be able to choose their school based on the academic programs offered instead of where they live. Buses will pick up students and transport them across the city.

Mendez is recommending an overhaul to address both issues. He's proposed three options that include major changes, such as starting elementary schools at 10:25 a.m. 

These are the proposals:

Option One

Elementary
AM Arrival 9:35 a.m.
AM Bell Time 9:55 a.m.
PM Bell Time  4:30 p.m.

High School, Middle School, Innovation Schools
AM Arrival 7:10 a.m.
AM Bell Time 7:30 a.m.
PM Bell Time  2:30 p.m.

Option Two

Elementary
AM Arrival 7:45 a.m.
AM Bell Time 8:05 a.m.
PM Bell Time  2:40 p.m.

High School, Middle School, Innovation Schools
AM Arrival 9:35 a.m.
AM Bell Time 9:55 a.m.
PM Bell Time  4:55 p.m.

Option Three

Elementary
AM Arrival 10:05 a.m.
AM Bell Time 10:25 a.m.
PM Bell Time  5 p.m.

High School, Middle School, Innovation Schools
AM Arrival 7:40 a.m.
AM Bell Time 8 a.m.
PM Bell Time  3 p.m.

All meetings begin at 6 p.m. Spanish translation and childcare will be provided. If you can’t attend a meeting, online survey about the issue is at www.myips.org.

Monday, Feb. 26, New Wineskin Ministries, 4501 38th St.

Tuesday, Feb. 27, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 6050 N. Meridian St.

Wednesday, Feb. 28, Community Alliance Far Eastside, 8902 E. 38th St.

Thursday, March 1, Julia Carson Government Center, 300 E. Fall Creek Pkwy N. Drive

Contact WFYI education reporter Eric Weddle at eweddle@wfyi.org or call (317) 614-0470. Follow on Twitter: @ericweddle.

Update: This report was updated 11:36 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 28 to include additional transportation proposals made public after the original publication.

 

 

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