Dear HPISD Elementary Parents,
In planning for the next school year, we are making some slight adjustments to dismissal times that will affect incoming kindergartners and second-graders. Dismissal times will remain the same for all other grades. These adjustments are driven by the design of the school day around high quality instruction, in addition to traffic/safety and state compliance concerns. Since so many parents drive their children to school, we wanted to give you plenty of time to plan for the fall semester and make arrangements for carpools,after-school activities and childcare.
These are the 2016-17 dismissal times:
- K-1: 8 a.m.-3 p.m.
- 2-4: 8 a.m.-3:15 p.m.
Here are more details regarding the reasons for the adjusted dismissal times:
- Instructional considerations: The most important reason for the adjustment is the design of the school day to allow time for excellent instruction. In planning for the coming school year, district and elementary school leaders took a fresh look at the campus schedules. The introduction of the Passport to Spanish program will mean 90 minutes of foreign language instruction for students in grades K-1. To accommodate that additional time, there will be an adjustment in the rotation among art, music and physical education, while also allowing students time in the library.
- Maintaining staggered dismissals: Traffic is always a huge consideration, and we looked at many options. We decided against the idea of dismissing all five grades at once because of student safety and traffic considerations. In order to keep dismissal times staggered, we decided to leave 15 minutes between dismissals. In addition, the compression of the dismissals will benefit parents with children in multiple grades who were having to deal with a 45-minute gap between dismissals.
- State compliance: Texas law requires seven hours of school for students in grades K-4. For several years, HPISD has applied every year for a waiver for a kindergarten day that is less than seven hours. In the past, the waiver was granted on the basis of the district's exemplary rating, but since the rating system has changed, it has become more challenging to obtain approval. We feel it is wise to comply with the state requirement to avoid a last-minute scramble in the case that the waiver is denied in the future.
New student roundups have been postponed due to inclement weather this week. Updated information will be posted on the HPISD website as the roundups are rescheduled.
We look forward to welcoming our new and continuing students to the HPISD family in the fall.