Longer school days, less traffic: Leander ISD approves new bell schedule

(Courtesy Fotolia)
(Courtesy Fotolia)

(Courtesy Fotolia)

After nearly two years of discussions and revisions, the Leander ISD board of trustees approved a new bell schedule for the 2020-21 school year at its May 21 meeting.

Beginning with the first day of school Aug. 13, the bell schedule will be as follows:

  • elementary schools: 7:40 a.m.-2:55 p.m.

  • middle schools: 8:10 a.m.-3:25 p.m.

  • high schools: 8:40 a.m.-4 p.m.

LISD administrators say the main reasons for the schedule changes are to better position the district to meet state time requirements for instruction as well as academic expectations in several grades and disciplines.

The new schedule adds instruction time to all levels: 10 minutes for high school, five minutes for middle school and five minutes for elementary school.

The start and end times for middle and high schools are now further apart, which should help alleviate traffic in neighborhoods where middle and high schools are adjacent, according to LISD officials.

The new schedule would also help alleviate LISD’s ongoing bus driver shortage by allowing most drivers to manage three routes instead of two, according to LISD.

The bell schedule committee has been researching the issue since its formation in 2018.

The bell schedule committee is composed of six principals, six central office staff members, two trustees, one former trustee and one teacher, according to LISD documents.