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DESOTO (CBSDFW.COM) – The school bell could soon be ringing earlier or later for some North Texas students. At a board meeting this evening, the DeSoto Independent School District is looking for parent and students input on what time the school day should start.

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District officials say they’re taking into account brain development and sleep cycles when it comes to the start times for the 2017-2018 school year. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, delaying start times for middle and high school students can help fight sleep deprivation since the youngsters naturally have trouble going to bed before 11 p.m.

As it stands, DeSoto ISD middle school students begin their day at 8:30 a.m. The proposal would scale that back a half hour, but increase the delay to an hour for high school students,

Here are the new start and end times beginning considered –

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  • Pre-K ‪– 7:45 a.m. until ‪3:15 p.m.
  • Kindergarten to 5th ‪– 7:30 a.m. until ‪3:00 p.m.
  • 6th to 8th ‪– 8:00 a.m. until ‪3:30 p.m.
  • 9th to 12th ‪– 8:30 a.m. until ‪4:00 p.m.

If start times were pushed back the change would impact everything from bus routes to after-school activities and could even impact the new fall calendar.

In addition to the meeting to discuss an alternative school calendar, a public meeting is also being held to get input on the DeSoto ISD pursuing a “District of Innovation” designation by the Texas Education Agency. The concept is based on state legislation that gives traditional independent school districts most of the flexibilities available to open enrollment charter schools. Should the district pursue the designation a new innovation plan must be adopted.

The first meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. at DeSoto ISD headquarters, located at 200 E. Belt Line Road. The second public meeting will be held immediately following the first.

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