Frisco ISD board considers extending school day to shorten school year

frisco isd board of trustees
The Frisco ISD board will vote on a calendar for next school year at a Nov. 11 meeting. (Elizabeth Ucles/Community Impact Newspaper)

The Frisco ISD board will vote on a calendar for next school year at a Nov. 11 meeting. (Elizabeth Ucles/Community Impact Newspaper)

Updated at 11:41am: This story has been updated to reflect new information with the calendar option up for vote at the Nov. 11 school board meeting.

Frisco ISD's school day could become longer next year as the district finalizes its 2020-21 calendar.

Board members received two options, calendars A and B, at a Nov. 1 district workshop. Both calendars would end the school year before Memorial Day next year. But calendar B would extend the school day by 10 minutes at all levels, resulting in the school year ending earlier in May as compared with calendar A.

Calendar B would also shorten the overall number of school days by three compared with calendar A, according to district drafts.

Scheduled state assessments, mandated staff training days and required minutes of instruction are some of the factors the district considers when drafting calendar options, said Meghan Cone, assistant director for the FISD communications department.

Calendar B disperses the 10 added minutes by starting the school day five minutes earlier and ending the school day five minutes later, according to district calendar drafts.

However, board members expressed concern with starting the school day earlier— especially for elementary schools, which would then see a 7:40 a.m. start time. This would mean school buses would arrive five to 10 minutes earlier than their current 6:30 a.m. arrival in some cases, Todd Fouche, FISD deputy superintendent of business and operations, said at the workshop.

“I’m just trying to think from a parent’s perspective,” board member Natalie Hebert said at the workshop. “The challenge in waking up your child at 5:30 in the morning and getting them out the door by 6:15 a.m. to get on the bus at 6:20 a.m. is concerning to me.”

The board then brought up the idea of ending the school day 10 minutes later to prevent the school day from beginning earlier. However, this proposal would also have repercussions, Clarence Williams, FISD executive director of support services, said at the workshop.

“That 10 minutes would have impacted negatively as far as extracurricular events,” Williams said, citing transportation and athletics as examples.

The district will recommend the calendar option adding 10 minutes to the end of the school day for the board’s consideration at the Nov. 11 meeting, Cone said.
By Elizabeth Ucles
Elizabeth is the reporter for Community Impact Newspaper's Frisco edition. She graduated from St. Edward's University with a degree in Writing and Rhetoric with a journalism concentration and a minor in Spanish in May 2019. Elizabeth covers public and higher education, development and transportation.


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