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IPS middle schools adopt later start times for 2024-25 school year

The logo for Indianapolis Public Schools. (WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Middle schools in the Indianapolis Public Schools system can look forward to the first bell of the day ringing a little later next fall.

Beginning in the 2024-25 school year, school days will run from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., pushing bell times back an hour and a half from 7:20 a.m. – 2:10 p.m.

Marc Ransford, media relations coordinator with IPS, told News 8 the change was reviewed during a board meeting Tuesday.

IPS cited research on adolescent development and later start times for middle schools as part of the reason for the changes. School officials also cited surveys of later middle school start times in Washington, Lawrence, Warren, Wayne, and Pike townships.

IPS sent a survey regarding the proposed later start times to school faculty, students, and their families. Survey responses from over 200 staff members were split, with more than half voting for start times to remain the same.

Adversely, responses from 760 families voted in majority to start classes at a later time. Nearly 84.5% requested to change the time, with the remaining 14.5% either voting for times to stay the same or expressing no preference.

Survey data was presented to middle school principals, and the decision to start classes later time was voted on unanimously. It was later approved by an executive leadership team.

IPS says the change was announced to students and faculty on Friday and Monday.

They added that the system hopes the change will reinforce its commitment to rebuilding stronger goals for IPS middle schools.