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DeSoto ISD is considering new school start times for the 2017-18 school year to enhance optimal student learning based on brain development and sleep cycles, especially in adolescents. On Monday, February 13 at 6:30 p.m. the Board will hold a Public Hearing regarding the considered times for the community to come express their views. The meeting will be held in the Board Room at 200 E. Belt Line Road.

In addition to optimal student learning, the district has also taken into consideration the bus routes and daylight savings times, as well as extra-curricular activities, work schedules, nutritional needs and much more. Also considered is the instructional time at school with the state requiring 76,500 minimum minutes of instruction each year. Each school day will be 450 minutes per day based on the current approved 172 days of school for a total of 77,400 minutes per year.

Should the district pursue and approve a District of Innovation plan that includes an alternative school calendar for 2017-18, the times may change if additional days are added.

Essentially we are flipping the elementary and high school schedules while the middle school ends 15 minutes earlier.

Considered New Start Times:

Early Childhood Academy


7:45 a.m. – 3:15 p.m.

Elementary Schools

K to 5th grade

7:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Middle Schools

6th to 8th grade

8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

High School

9th to 12th grade

8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Doors open times:

  • Elementary Schools - 7:00 a.m.
  • Middle Schools - 7:30 a.m.
  • High School - 8:00 a.m.


The district will hold a second Public Hearing immediately following to hear from the community regarding the pursuit of the District of Innovation designation by TEA (Texas Education Agency).

A District of Innovation is a concept passed by the 84th Legislative Session in House Bill 1842 that gives traditional independent school districts most of the flexibilities available to Texas’ open enrollment charter schools. To access these flexibilities, a school district must adopt an innovation plan, as set forth in the Texas Education Code chapter 12A.

DeSoto ISD has chosen to explore and pursue this opportunity for flexibility to create new opportunities for and better serve our students. A link on the district website provides the timeline DeSoto ISD has laid out along with links to informative presentations, agendas of public meetings, and resources provided by TEA and the TASB (Texas Association of School Boards).

Exemptions from mandates could include:

  • School start date
  • 90% attendance rule
  • Class-size ratios
  • Site-based decision-making processes
  • Certain student discipline provisions
  • Use of planning and preparation periods
  • Teacher appraisal requirements and certifications
  • Age-based placement for Pre-K
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