Back to school: APS students will have a longer school year, new bell schedule

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Summer is ending for Albuquerque students and teachers earlier than usual.

The new schedule at Albuquerque Public Schools will have students starting the year earlier and ending it later – plus the school days are getting longer too.

School starts on Aug. 3 this year, and most APS schools will get out on May 31.


  • High schools will start at 8:40 a.m. – nearly an hour later than they did last year
  • Middle school students will start their day at 9:15 a.m.
  • Elementary school students will be split into two different groups, starting school around 7:30 a.m. or 8 a.m.
  • There’s also no early release on Wednesdays or any day of the week

Reps with the district say part of this change is based on research that shows earlier start times can have a negative effect on learning, specifically for teenagers.

“When we are looking at the science of adolescent brain development, it’s very clear that our adolescent students, teenagers – their brain function starts later in the day,” said Channell Segura, the APS chief of schools.

The APS school board approved the new calendar earlier this year in a 5-1 vote. The calendar made its way to the school board after HB 130 was signed into law earlier this year – a bill requiring a minimum of 1,140 hours in the classroom.

With more time in the classroom, Segura said APS is looking at new ways to occupy students outside of school, specifically for those middle school students who don’t get to class until later in the morning.

“Weare partnering with our community Out of School Time providers – Boys and Girls Club, Big Brothers, Big Sisters, Junior Achievement, and a few others to be able to provide our middle school students with before schooltime programming,” Segura said.

For more information on the new bell schedules, click here. For a look at the APS calendar, click here.