The Board of Education will consider variations of five options for moving back the start of the MCPS high school day.

Some, such as the Superintendent Joshua Starr-recommended move to shift all school bell times back 20 minutes, are small and bring little if any additional cost.

Others, such as moving elementary school start times from 8:50 a.m. and 9:15 a.m. to 8 a.m. and 8:25 a.m. could cost the school system an additional $5.2 million a year.

MCPS on Tuesday presented a report that outlines four options for moving back high school start times while keeping added transportation costs below $10 million a year. The fifth option would be to make no changes to bell times “and explore other options to provide flexibility for high school students.”

High schoolers in Montgomery County start the school day at 7:25 a.m. Many parents have argued that is too early, cuts down on the amount of sleep teenagers get and hurts learning and energy levels throughout the day.

The original proposal from Starr would’ve pushed back high school start times by 50 minutes and extended the elementary school day by 30 minutes. Citing cost (an estimated $21 million) and mixed community reaction about how the plan would impact elementary school students, Starr ditched the plan last June.


The Board of Education asked for further examination into low-cost options.

Read the details of how each of the five options, and the variations within those options, would affect school start times. Then let us know: What do you think the Board of Education should do?

Also remember that the Board will be hosting two public hearings on the matter on Thursday, Jan. 22. One will run from 3:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. and the other from 6:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. Both will be in the auditorium of the Carver Educational Services Center (850 Hungerford Drive, Rockville). Call 301-279-3617 to reserve a spot to testify or submit written feedback to belltimes[at]mcpsmd[dot]org.


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