DEARBORN — Start and end times for Dearborn Public Schools students at all grade levels will change as the district plans to return students to full-time in-school learning in the fall.
Classes at Fordson, Dearborn High and Edsel Ford high schools and STEM Middle School will start at 7:50 a.m. and run until 2:45 p.m., with half days ending at 10:55 a.m. First bell allowing students into the building will be at 7:40 a.m.
Middle schools and kindergarten to eighth grade schools will start at 8:25 a.m. and go until 3:20 p.m., with half days ending at 11:30 a.m. This affects Lowrey School, McCollough Elementary, Salina Elementary and Salina Intermediate. The first bell allowing middle school students into the building will be at 8:15 a.m.
Elementary schools will start at 9 a.m. and end at 3:55 p.m., with half days ending at 12:05 p.m. The first bell allowing students into the building will be at 8:55 a.m.
The other high schools and high school programs — Henry Ford Early College; Michael Berry Career Center; Magnet High School; and the Dearborn Center for Math, Science and Technology will run from 8:05 a.m. to 2:25 p.m. each day with half days ending at 10:45 a.m.
Tentative plans for the new Dearborn Public Schools Virtual K-12 call for each grade to follow the schedule for that building level — kindergarten to fifth at elementary times, sixth to eighth grade at middle school times, and ninth grade and higher at high school times. Staffing for the program is still being worked out, which could impact the schedule.
For the 2020-21 school year, the district adopted shorter school days while students continued learning at least partially online. The shorter days also meant later start times for middle and high school students.
Next year’s new start and end times are 20 to 30 minutes later at each grade level compared to the schedule before the pandemic. High school is 30 minutes later, middle school 25 minutes and elementary school 20 minutes.
“For years, we have been looking at ways to move high school start times later because research shows teens learn better later in the day,” Supt. Glenn Maleyko said. “Returning from the hybrid schedule gave us a perfect opportunity to reset class times to hopefully better meet the needs of all students and families.”
Many factors go into setting the school schedules, including state requirements, family logistics, sports schedules and much more. For example, the district knows many families rely on middle and high school students to care for their younger siblings after school.
Busing also is an issue in setting the district’s start and end times. Each of the district’s buses typically run three routes in the morning — one each for elementary, middle and high school. Start times at the buildings then need to be separated enough to complete bus runs for each grade level. Overlapping bus route times would add costs for the district by requiring more buses and drivers. Parents who take or pick up their children from different schools also need separated schedules.