APS has begun a project to review our school bell schedules, and start and end times, across schools, and to compare instructional minutes across school divisions. The goal is to ensure we are maximizing instruction and reducing the variations in start/end times to operate more efficiently.
Currently, there are 8 different start/end times; the goal is to reduce them to no more than 4 for the 2022-23 School Year. By reducing the number of start/end times, APS aims to optimize transportation services and identify efficiencies that will improve APS operations, streamline school bus routes and schedules, and reduce costs. APS will also conduct a comparative analysis of instructional minutes in the school day across school divisions and recommend changes where needed.
Currently, APS has among the fewest instructional minutes compared to neighboring school divisions. To maximize instructional time, APS will add up to ten additional minutes to the school day for the 2022-2023 school year. The approved school year calendar for the 2022-2023 school year includes the equivalent of 6 instructional days built into the calendar for inclement weather whereas adding up to ten instructional minutes to the school day will allow for the equivalent of an additional 5 instructional days.
With the APS calendar having 175 instructional days at the middle school level and 176 instructional days at the elementary and high school levels, we must revert to hours to ensure we have enough instructional time for a school year. The other option would be to increase the number of instructional days which could entail starting school earlier and/or ending the school year later in June.
In January 2022, APS entered a contract with Transpar to assist APS with bell time and routing analysis and stakeholder engagement.
School Bell Times Study Technical Advisory Team (TAT)
In early February, APS is soliciting feedback from internal and external stakeholders to form the technical advisory team (TAT) comprised of the following:
- Transportation staff
- School-based administrators
- Advisory Committee Members
- PTA representatives
Once formed, the committee will work with Transpar to guide the study and other project deliverables. After a series of virtual meetings with the TAT, a survey will be developed for further stakeholder input regarding changes to the current bell times for all students. Final recommendations will be provided to the School Board as an information item at the April 28, 2022, for action on May 12, 2022.
Technical Advisory Team Meeting Presentations & Recordings
- Meeting One: View Presentation | View Recording
- Meeting Two: View Presentation | View Recording
- Meeting Three: View Presentation | View Recording | School Bell Times Schedule Survey Findings
School Board Presentations
Based on the feedback received from the community, an alternative scenario has been developed to present to the School Board that minimizes schedule changes as much as possible, while still achieving the goals of the project. The School Board will act on this proposal at the School Board Meeting on May 12.
- April 28 School Board Meeting Information Item – School Start Times and Results of the 2022 Bell Times Study Presentation
School Bell Times Study Project Timeline: January 2022 – April 2022
The following provides the timeline including engagement opportunities for staff and families to ask questions about the study.
|Week of January 10, 2022||Project Kick-off meeting (virtual) with APS staff to:
||Finalized scope of services and performance measures|
|Mid-January through project duration||Meet with project technical advisory team (up to 5 virtual meetings) to:
||Finalized service rules and bell time constraints|
|Starting upon receipt of data completion of Task 2 deliverables described above||
|Immediately upon completion of Tasks 2 and 3||
Upon completion of Task 4
|April 2022 and/or no later than May 12, 2022||
For additional information or questions on the School Bell Times Study Project, please email email@example.com.