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2023-2024 School Start Times Evaluation

Feb. 23, 2023: Board of Education Adjusts School Start Times for the 2023-2024 School Year

The Howard County Board of Education adjusted the HCPSS school start times for the 2023-2024 year, shifting high schools to begin at 8:00 a.m., among other changes. Full details are available online.

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Updated School Start and Dismissal Times

Start times for the 2023-2024 school year are based on the times adopted by the Board of Education in February 2023.

View Updated Times 

Adopted School Bell Times

The plan adopted by the Board results in start times occurring in three tiers. Some schools may start slightly before or after the stated time for each tier. The exact start time for each school will be determined later this spring and shared with the community as transportation routes are finalized.

Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to frequently asked questions regarding changes to school start times can be found on the HCPSS Help website. FAQs are continually being added and/or updated so please check back often.

Supporting Students

Changes can be difficult for children and some struggle more than others. School administrators and staff in every school are prepared to support students following changes to the start times and bell schedules. Staff will make every effort to ensure this transition is as easy as possible for students and families.

More information will be provided during the spring of 2023.

Background Information

On April 15, 2021, the Board of Education directed the Superintendent to review and evaluate the current student school start times and to prepare a recommendation regarding suggested new start times for submission to the Board of Education. The HCPSS Student Transportation Office worked with Decision Support Group to analyze current start times, bell schedules and transportation routes and develop a plan that could adjust school opening times.

Please note: Decision Support Group is a Board of Education-approved independent consultant that served as a neutral facilitator throughout the start times evaluation process.

Reports to the Board

Public Input & Work Sessions

Public Input

Community members had multiple opportunities and ways to provide input and recommendations to the Board of Education, including a public hearing:

Members of the public who could not attend a public hearing were able to submit written testimony online or via USPS mail.

Work Sessions

The Board of Education held a public work session to discuss school start times considerations: