Montgomery County schools mull changes to start times

WASHINGTON — Montgomery County Public Schools will hold four public meetings over the school year to garner parent feedback on a proposed plan to change the starting and ending times for county schools.

On Oct. 1, Superintendent Joshua Starr released a plan that would call for high schools to start 50 minutes later – from 7:25 a.m. to 8:15 a.m. Middle schools would start 10 minutes earlier – from 7:55 a.m. to 7:45 a.m. Elementary schools would start at their regularly scheduled times – 8:50 a.m. and 9:15 a.m., but the day would be extended by 30 minutes.

All forums will be held between 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Free child care for ages 4 and older will be provided, as well as interpretation services.

The forum schedule:

  • Monday, Oct. 28: Paint Branch High School, 14121 Old Columbia Pike in Burtonsville.
  • Monday, Dec. 16: Richard Montgomery High School, 250 Richard Montgomery Drive in Rockville.
  • Monday, Jan. 6: Seneca Valley High School, 19401 Crystal Rock Drive in Germantown.
  • Monday, Feb. 10: Montgomery Blair High School, 51 University Blvd., East, in Silver Spring.

    Starr based his recommendations on a nine-month study he commissioned from the Bell Times Work Group.

    Seventy percent of the 4,335 parents of high school students surveyed said the 7:25 a.m. start time was too early, according to the report.

    “MCPS students, staff members, and parents could benefit from a sleep education campaign addressing the wide discrepancy between the hours of sleep needed versus the hours of sleep typically achieved by students,” the group stated in its 56-page report.

    r Pt 2013 Bell Times Work Gr p Report

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