Parents unhappy about new DMPS school start time

Local News

DES MOINES – Des Moines Schools are switching up start times in August. So far, the decision isn’t going over well with parents.

Tuesday night, the district had a meeting to allow community members to share their concerns.

The plan for next year is that elementary schools will go in at 7:30 a.m. They would then get out a 2:25 p.m. and 1:10 p.m., every Wednesday.

Middle schoolers would start at 8:30 a.m., and are released at 3:25 p.m. 

High school would begin at 8:25 a.m., and school’s out at 3:35 p.m.

The complaints from most parents come’s from child care. They’ll have to figure out a place for their kids for another hour.

Before Tuesday’s meeting, the NAACP, Latino and Asian Coalition, and parents held their own press conference. They want the start times reversed because they say it will unfairly impact people of color and low income families.

“What happens when the elementary school students come home a couple hours before their parents are supposed to be off work,” questioned Betty Andrews, with NAACP.

“We are looking at issues of economic stress ands this could be overwhelming to many families. With 70 percent of Des Moines School students qualifying for free and reduced lunches, you understand there is a lot of low income families in our school district.” 

The NAACP also said there wasn’t a study done to see if this will help or hurt students sleep and learning schedule.

Parents say the district didn’t think about every implication before making this decision.

We heard from one parent who says he worries about the negative education affects it could have on his daughter.

“Getting kids up in the morning, getting them fed so they can pay attention at 6 a.m., 5:45 a.m. to get them to school and doors don’t even open until 7:15 a.m.,” said parent, Akil Clark.

“A lot of kids are going to be sitting out there in the cold and I guarantee it that parents will drop kids off at the corner so they can get to work.” 

Right now, the decision stands. New start times will go into effect for the 2018-2019 school year.

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