Current vs. Proposed Hours

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

As is shared 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 chart below shows 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 the pros and cons:

New school start times provide benefits supported by research, including improved learning, better health, and enhanced equity Some walking/waiting in the dark for elementary students during winter months.
All grade levels would operate on the same school hours. Increased late afternoon absences and reduced practice facility time for secondary activities.
Increase collaboration opportunities for elementary schools.
The change is cost neutral for the school district.

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.