The Durham Public Schools Board of Education approved a new districtwide bell schedule for the 2022-23 school year. Efficiency, equity, and consistency will enable shorter bus routes and fewer delays, and there will be earlier start times for most elementary schools.
The new schedule will standardize start times for elementary, middle, and high schools, with openings set at 7:45 a.m., 8:30 a.m., and 9:15 a.m., respectively.Secondary schools (grades 6-12, Durham School of the Arts, and The School for Creative Studies) will be on the same tier as middle schools, with openings set at 8:30 a.m.
“Standardizing and staggering bell times will optimize travel routes, allowing us to allocate each bus to multiple schools,” said Mathew Palmer, Executive Director of School Planning.
The district previously adjusted school bell schedules in 2016 when it moved high school start times to 9 a.m. or 9:15 a.m. following research that indicated older students performed better with a later start. District administrators committed to bringing proposals at a future meeting to address potential concerns about after-school care for younger students.
Currently, 42 percent of the district’s 32,000 students utilize school bus transportation.