Some parents concerned over changes to school hours in New Caney ISD

HOUSTON - Changes to school start times are leading to some confusion and concern in New Caney. Elementary school students will be starting the day earlier next year, while high school students will be starting later and some parents aren't happy about the changes.

A meeting is being held at the New Caney 6th grade campus. The district says middle and high school students will benefit from more sleep, but some parents disagree.

New Caney ISD's school schedules are changing beginning in august. And while elementary school students will be starting earlier, middle and high school students will be starting and ending their days later.

Elementary students currently attend school from 8:20 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. But next year they'll be starting at 7:30 a.m. and ending at 2:45 p.m.

The older students currently start around 7:20 a.m. But next year, they'll be starting at 8:15 a.m. and staying in school until 3:50 p.m.

One parent we interviewed said the changes will not only impact child care, but also transportation plans and students' bedtimes.

"It's just not feasible for a lot of parents.. A lot of kids are going to be left at home after school because the older kids, the other brothers and sisters, are still in school whenever they get home from school. A lot of parents can't afford after-school child care," she said.

New Caney ISD says the decision was based on research indicating that after puberty, teens require more sleep; while sleep patterns for elementary school children lean toward an earlier start time.

The district's website says students will benefit academically, but a parent we spoke with wasn't so sure.

The district says discussions about the changes began two years ago and they did share the plans with staff, parents, and community members. But the parent we spoke with said she only learned of them a couple of months ago and others are still just finding out.

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