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Howard County Board of Education Takes Action on School Start and Dismissal Times

Posted: February 24th, 2017

The Howard County Board of Education approved changes to school start and dismissal times during its regularly scheduled meeting on February 23. Beginning with the start of the 2018–2019 school year, no Howard County public school will begin before 8 a.m. or later than 9:25 a.m. Howard County Public School System staff will prepare a detailed plan for implementing the new schedules, including specific start and end times for elementary, middle and high schools, transportation costs and other factors for Board consideration.

The Board’s decision followed an analysis of current and alternative models for school start and dismissal times presented by the School Start and Dismissal Time Committee to the Board at its November 17, 2016 meeting. Feedback provided by parents, students, staff and community members through regional community forums and an online survey was presented to the Board on February 7, 2017.

All of the models considered the effects of school start times on student achievement, engagement and well-being. The committee’s analysis included research on the effect of sleep schedules on children and adolescents, school start times throughout Maryland jurisdictions, and the potential impact of schedule changes on before- and after-school activities, athletics and childcare. The SSDT also considered transportation costs, time for completing homework, employee work schedules, and other factors.

The February 23 Board meeting report is posted online. Video of the Board discussion during the February 23 meeting can be viewed online.