Abilene ISD could extend school day by 25 minutes


ABILENE, Texas - Students in the Abilene Independent School District could see a change in their schedule next year.

The board is looking to extend school hours by 25 minutes. This is a unanimous recommendation from the principals to add more time to the school day.

Abilene ISD Superintendent Dr. David Young said the reason behind adding the time is student-centered.

"Abilene [ISD] for years has been at the state-minimum seven-hour school day. Our teachers were telling our principals and our principals were talking with us and administration [saying] we just don't have enough time to do all of the things we need to do with our kids," Young said.

The idea came about once the state decided to measure the school year in minutes and not days.

"There was a bill in the previous legislative session that changed the way school districts count their school year, from being measured in 180 days to being measured in 75,600 minutes," Young said.

This change would let students have four more days off. Overall, they'd still spend more hours in class.

"I think the kids would progress more if they stayed a little longer," said grandparent Frank Ramirez.

"With the time changing, this is going to affect a whole lot of people's hours and shifts," said parent Tim Penns.

"We're used to picking them up at 3 p.m. It's going to be a little bit longer now," said parent Jose Aguero.

Young said most school districts in Texas already added time to their school days and AISD is just catching up.

"We know that we need additional time during the school day, not only for intervention activity with kids that are struggling but also for enrichment and extension activity for our kids that are excelling," Young said.

If 25 minutes are added to the school day, school would begin 10 minutes earlier and end 15 minutes later compared to current school hours. The board has not yet set a date for action.