Kylie Davenport is a senior at Rider High School and is the Chronicle's editor-in-chief. Going into her second year on staff, she is nervous but excited...
WFISD barely changes secondary start times
Rider starting earlier is the best option
February 6, 2023
Mixed feelings have arisen after WFISD has made its final decision on what time school will start for elementary, middle school and high school.
Originally, Superintendent Dr. Donny Lee and the board discussed a three-tiered system that would cause high schools to start at 8:50 a.m. and end at 4:20 p.m.
After weeks of discussion, the decision was made to keep the two-tiered start with secondary beginning at 7:30 a.m.
Multiple people interviewed agreed the decision made is what’s best for Rider at this time.
“Research shows older students, like high school students, do better starting later in the day,” assistant principal TiAda Radtke said. “But with the set up that we have, we’re limited on practice fields, and we don’t have lights. I really feel like that is a better option for us and for our students.”
Having no lights at the athletic field prevents many outdoor sports from utilizing the mornings. However, if practices were in the mornings, many students would not be able to be as involved as they are.
Football coach Marc Bindel agrees that the decision to start at 7:30 a.m. is the best option.
“It’ll kind of be business as usual, other than the band. I feel like we’ll be OK because we don’t have first period athletics,” Bindel said.
While sports will not be as affected, a large concern is attendance. Many students struggle with arriving at school on time. The 15-minute change could possibly impose an even bigger challenge for those students.
“Students who struggle to get here at 7:45, it will be just more of a struggle, since we’re starting 15 minutes earlier,” Radtke said. “I don’t love that piece, but it’s what needs to be done to help us. Especially with our extra curricular activities. That way students can be successful and be involved more.”
According to Radtke, sometimes it is just part of someone’s personality to be late to everything, not just school.
“I’m sure even if you start at 9, several students will still be late. I think there’s never a good answer on how to get everyone here on time,” Radtke said. “Some people just have a tendency to be late wherever they go. That’s just how they roll.”
Students, such as junior class president Eddie Stewart, agree that 7:30 a.m. is the best option for Rider.
“I feel as if this is the best alternative due to many students having to work after school. If we got out an hour-and-a-half later, many work schedules would be affected,” Stewart said. “Waking up 15 minutes earlier is a small adjustment for people’s schedules than having to rearrange their whole afternoon plans.”
While it might not seem fair to next year’s seniors who have been coming to school by 7:45 since sixth grade, some seniors are given the luxury of late arrival, which will enable them to sleep in more.
Both starting at 8:50 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. imposes challenges. However, many at Rider are confident the district has chosen the best option for the schools with the resources they have at this time.