Houston ISD will keep the doors open a little longer for thousands of students this year.
Over 80 campuses will be required to offer before- and after-school care starting in August, part of an effort to help working parents struggling to get their kids to school safely. Schools will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., with teachers overseeing educational and recreational activities for students.
The shift in school hours is one of many changes that dozens of schools will see ahead of the 2023-24 school year as new Superintendent Mike Miles continues to overhaul campuses across the district. Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath appointed Miles to the position as part of state sanctions against HISD.
Here’s everything you need to know about the longer hours schools are adopting.
What schools are impacted by this change?
All 28 schools in Miles’ “New Education System,” or NES, initiative will have lengthened school hours. These campuses will be seeing immediate and drastic changes ahead of the next school year, with nearly all staff required to reapply for their jobs.
Another 57 schools participating in “NES-aligned,” a pared-down version of NES, will have the same hours.
Here is a list of them, broken down by grade level:
Elementary: Alcott, Ashford, Atherton, Benavidez, Berry, Blackshear, Bonham, Bonner, Brookline, Bruce, Burrus, Cage, Cook Jr., Coop, DeZavala, Dogan, Durkee, Eliot, Elmore, Franklin, Gallegos, Gregg, J.R. Harris, R.P. Harris, Hartsfield, N.Q. Henderson, Highland Heights, Hilliard, Hobby, Isaacs, Kashmere Gardens, Kennedy, Lewis, Lockhart, Looscan, Marshall, R. Martinez, McGowen, Northline, Oates, Osborne, Port Houston, Pugh, Robinson, Paige, Rucker, Scroggins, Seguin, Shadydale, Smith, Thompson, Wainwright, Whidby, Whittier, Young.
Middle: Cullen, Edison, Fleming, Fondren, Forest Brook, Hartman, Henry, Holland, Key, Lawson, McReynolds, Project Chrysalis, Revere, Sugar Grove Academy, Williams.
High: Furr; Houston Math, Science and Technology Center; Kashmere; Madison; North Forest; Scarborough; Sterling; Washington; Wheatley; Worthing; Wisdom; Yates.
Multi-grade: Las Americas Newcomer, Long Academy, Reagan K-8 Education Center.
Some HISD schools have operated with expanded hours by choice in recent years. This list only includes schools that are required by the district to do so in the upcoming school year.
If your school isn’t on this list, visit your campus’ website to verify its hours.
Does this impact class start time?
First: classes will not begin at 6:30 a.m.
Class schedules might be different from previous years at the 85 campuses — but not because of the extended school hours.
Classes at every NES and NES-aligned school will begin at 8 a.m. Most classes will end at 4 p.m., with several exceptions: preschool, kindergarten and first grade classes will conclude at 3 p.m., and second grade will finish at 3:30 p.m.
No student is required to arrive at school at 6:30 a.m. or stay until 5 p.m. These extra hours are optional.
How does this impact transportation schedules?
Bus schedules will shift to adapt to the 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. class schedule, but transportation will not be available for before- or after-school care.
Parents utilizing the extended school hours must transport their child themselves.
Why are hours being expanded?
Miles has said the expanded hours are geared toward parents, giving them a safe place to drop off their child before they go to work, rather than leaving them at home alone.
“Many people leave for work at 7 (a.m.) or earlier,” Miles said. “So (it’s) more about parents.”
What will students do during these extended hours?
Students that come into school early or stay late will spend their time in the cafeteria or what Miles has dubbed the “Team Center” — separate classrooms designed for remote learning that will primarily be used when a child is removed from class for misbehaving.
How students are engaged during this time will look different at each campus.
“We’ll mostly monitor the kids, first of all, provide them a safe place after school where they can do homework, or they can do online study, or reading,” Miles said.
Programs offered to students will vary depending on which teachers volunteer for different activities, Miles said. His administration will examine what before or after-school programs already exist at each school, then “try to accommodate” or expand upon them, he said. Some existing programs may be grant-funded or teacher-supported, which the district will try to maintain.
A program called Texas ACE, funded by the Texas Education Agency, provides after-school programming to campuses with large percentages of students from low-income families at no cost to parents. Fourteen of the 85 affected schools use the program to offer activities such as drama club, tutoring and cooking classes.
Three more affected schools offer services through the Center for Afterschool, Summer and Enrichment Programs, known as CASE, a division of the Harris County Department of Education. CASE provides educational resources like tutoring, as well as recreational activities like dance and photography.
“The guidelines (are) continuing to do what you’ve always done with regard to after-school activities, and we’ll try to supplement that,” Miles said.
What does this mean for teachers?
To ensure that kids “don’t run around,” Miles said, teachers will monitor students during the expanded hours.
Every teacher at each affected school will be required to work “before- or after-school duty” one day each week. These shifts will be one hour and 15 minutes. Teachers won’t receive additional compensation for this requirement because they are not hourly employees, Miles said.
However, all teachers at NES and NES-aligned schools will receive a $10,000 stipend this year.