Days Changing to Minutes for Schools

With the Change, Administration Looks for Ways to Help Students

Carson Ritter

More stories from Carson Ritter


Editor Carson Ritter uses the whiteboard to explain his calculations. These numbers are slightly fudged but they give a good visual of the effects of adding 30 minutes. Administration is seriously considering this change.

Instead of counting to 180 days, students can now stretch their math skills to count to 75,600 minutes to be let out for summer.

Schools state-wide have been notified of the new rule change within the schedule requirements. The rule used to be that students must be in school for 180 days out of the year. Now, children must be in school for 75,600 minutes.

I believe it’s six to one, or half a dozen to another,”

— Assistant Principal Tony Dodson

“I believe it’s six to one, or half a dozen to another,” Coach Dodson said.

This stems from Groom ISD’s situation. Many schools changed their schedule in drastic ways. This particular revision did not affect Groom students in terms of weeks at school – this year.

“We did shorten (the schedule) by a day,” Principal Stephen Vanderpool said. “We did not change much because we were afraid of the winter being bad.”

The school board had reasons for not immediately changing our schedule due to the rule.

“We didn’t change the schedule because TEA had already approved our schedule,” Vanderpool said. “Schools that changed were taking a chance because TEA had not approved theirs yet.”

The administration has already looked into shortening the schedule next year. Yet, there will have to be added minutes in the daily schedule.

“I would like to start at 8 in the morning, on the dot,” Vanderpool said. “Also, (I would like to) extend the end of the day to 3:45 p.m. That would give an extra 30 minutes a day. It would add up, and get us out of school earlier.”

Once one calculates 30 minutes extra a day and multiplies that by the traditional 180-day school year, and then divides that by the number of minutes required how many minutes in a day, that gives about an extra 12 days off during the school year.

Students seem to like the idea of a shortened school year with the addition of more minutes per day.

“It would not affect many students,” senior Cade Ruthardt said. “It’s only 15 minutes. Half of the students (in school) are already there at 7:30! High school students wouldn’t mind at the end of the day because they already have athletics past the bell anyways.”

If taken to the extreme, students could go longer for four days each week and cut off a whole day of the school week.

“(I would cut off) Friday!” second-grader Sophia Caro said. “So we could get out of school quicker!”

Many students like to have other activities on some days, one even preferred having on school student on Wednesday.

“Wednesday,” fifth-grader Zadyn Johnson said. “Because, I have church on that day.”

One disadvantage to cutting off a day in the week is athletics. Junior high basketball games are on Mondays, and many high school athletic events are on Tuesdays and Fridays, forcing many students to be at school on days when there is no school.

“If you move all junior high events to Thursdays, like football,” Mrs. Melissa Ritter said. “Then we could cut off Monday and not have a problem.

Another option to consider is to take out summer break.

“We could go on a six-week on two-week off schedule,” Vanderpool said. “The advantages to that is you retain more in that time, rather than losing everything over the summer.”

More than likely, there will be significant changes to Groom ISD’s schedule in the years to come. Though a six-week on two-week off schedule is highly unlikely, several changes could be flooding in next fall.