Slight Shift Coming to Some Elementary Bell Times

Slight Shift Coming to Some Elementary Bell Times
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May 24, 2016 -- Some Amarillo ISD elementary campuses will make slight adjustments to their bell schedules for the 2016-2017 school year. Changes are being communicated by campus principals in letters going out to parents this week and will be posted on campus websites.

For most campuses making changes, the bell schedule will adjust by five or 10 minutes on either end of the school day. These small modifications are part of a district-wide move to build flexibility into the school year calendar with a bank of time reserved for days school is canceled because of significant weather or a natural disaster.  Individual campuses worked to minimize the impact on families when considering changes to the bell schedule. At Olsen Park Elementary, Principal Kris Schellhamer says staff looked closely at Crockett Middle School’s bell times before shifting Olsen’s afternoon bell from 3:00 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. “In determining the new dismissal time we wanted to make certain we considered our learners with older siblings in middle school,” said Schellhamer. “We wanted to make sure our parents could pick up their learners at Olsen and still be on time for middle school pick up, as well.”

House Bill 2610 requires students to be in school a set number of minutes each year, rather than a standard number of days as required in the past. While all AISD campuses already meet the minimum amount of required instructional minutes, each school will ensure their daily schedule for students have enough instructional minutes reserved for at least four canceled days during the school year. The end result is that traditional snow days for students are not part of the 2016-2017 school calendar and students won't have to make up the missed days.

 “By and large, this new law is positive for our students, parents and the community,” said Sandy Whitlow, an executive director of student performance who worked with a committee comprised of both staff and community members to prepare the calendar. “We looked to develop a calendar which meets both the spirit and letter of the new law while taking advantage of the ability to be more proactive.”

House Bill 2610 was passed by the 84th Texas Legislature. To view AISD’s 2016-2017 school calendar,click here.

HB 2610

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