Current vs. Proposed Hours

Des Moines Public Schools is considering a change in the bell times – or school hours – that we have. The plan would flip the current hours, meaning that elementary students begin the day a little earlier while middle and high school students would start a little later.

As we share elsewhere on this web site, research points to how this change would actually help students as it better matches up with the sleep patterns of children at different ages.

What would the actual hours for school be if the proposed plan is approved? The two graphics below show the current and proposed school hours for elementary, middle and high schools. Please click on the graphic to open it in a larger window.

Current and Proposed School Hours

As this plan is being considered there are several positive aspects to making this change. At the same time, the school district recognizes there are issues and concerns to be addressed. The chart below summarizes some of those presented at a recent School Board meeting. Be sure to visit the FAQ page for answers to questions you may have about this proposal. If you have an additional question or comment you would like to pass along, please click here.

New school start times provide benefits supported by research:

  • Improved learning
  • Better health
  • Enhanced equity
Some walking/waiting in the dark for elementary students during winter months.
All grade levels would operate on the same school hours. Smouse/Ruby Van Meter schools would remain on separate schedule.
Increase collaboration opportunities for elementary schools. Elementary after-school activities requiring a bus may be delayed a little longer.
The change is cost neutral for the school district. Increased late afternoon absences and reduced practice facility time for secondary activities.