Wichita Falls ISD to have new school start times

Published: Jan. 18, 2023 at 7:00 PM CST
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - Wichita Falls ISD is moving forward with new start times this fall. Come August, elementary school, middle school and high school will all start at different times. This is a move intended to save the district millions.

They will be able cut down the amount of bus routes drastically compared to the current system. A lot of thought went into this decision and the Wichita Falls ISD board decided to have middle school start first, then elementary school, then high school.

“I think that will relieve a lot of parents, make parents feel a little more comfortable knowing that especially for their elementary students,” Dr. Peter Griffiths, WFISD associate superintendent, said. “They will be able to drop off their kids before they go to work because that has been one of the concerns. Also, with this having middle school start at the beginning, if they have middle school aged children they will be home, so when elementary students are out they will have someone older in the house with them.”

Wichita Falls ISD is set to change their schools start and end time after the board agreed to a proposed three-tier system. Middle school will start at 7:30 a.m., elementary school at 8:10 a.m. and high school at 8:50 a.m., saving the district money.

“You are looking at potentially millions of dollars in savings every year just because the fact that with the two tier you are looking at 20-25 new routes at about $50,000 per route which includes the individual and the wear and tear on buses,” Griffiths said. “With three tiers we will still have to add routes but not as many. We are looking at 5-10 routes instead of 20-25. Those are just huge savings right there.”

These new times will begin in fall of 2023. Dr. Griffiths understands the strain this might put on some families, but he believes this will be what is best for the district and the students.

“The next few years there are going to be a lot of transition within the district,” Dr. Griffiths said. “We know that and we are trying to take everything methodically and purposefully every step of the way. This is something that has been brewing for some time and now we got to the point where we have to make these tough financial decisions, but in the long run it will work out best for our kids.”

Dr. Griffiths adds that he doesn’t want parents to get confused, those new start times is when the first period will start. The school will be open earlier than that, but they aren’t sure when just yet. The district is still discussing what time school buildings will open. That decision is expected in February.