The Carrollton Farmers Branch ISD school board approved to change the start times for district schools. High school students will now begin class a bit later while elementary schools will start earlier.
Dr. Bobby Burns, superintendent for the district, said C-FB ISD has been discussing start times for years. It has been and off-and-on conversation that has now been approved by the school board after administrators' recommendations.
"We have had the same start times for the past two decades," Burns said. "Our main question is, 'Is this been the best structural start times for us based on the age groups?'"
Burns said the district conducted a work study and, based on the results, some changes can be made to start times that will benefit students' psychological brain development for all ages.
"Our research was conclusive that upper-adolescence ages do not benefit the most from having to be at school at 7:30," he said. "If we want to increase students' achievement then we are going to have to do some things and make some changes that can help them; changing start times is one of them."
The new start times that will begin this upcoming school year are 7:40 a.m. for elementary, 8:20 a.m. for high school and 9 a.m. for middle school.
"In essence, our middle schools had very little change," Burns said. "In addition, we will also keep the added 15 minutes on at the end of the day because that too increases achievement."
Earlier in the year the district extended the school day by 15 minutes to make up for the bad weather days the district experienced during the winter. School days will now be seven hours and 15 minutes.
Burns said there have been a few complaints regarding the new start times from the community. However, the district still feels it is in the best interest of the students to change the start times.
"They are legitimate concerns. Certain times work better for certain people; everyone has their own personal situation," he said. "However, we still have to do what we think is best for our students. Even though some people do not like the change, others think the change will help their daily schedule."
Burns said around the Metroplex a majority of high schools start later in the morning, and the benefits can be backed up by the statistics.
"Not only do we think it will help our students now, but colleges are setting up schedules where students cannot take early morning classes because of their struggles with the start time," Burns said. "This is just another change we need to make if we want high achievement for all students."