Howard Co. schools to have new start times for 2023-24 school year

Starting in August for the 2023-24 school year, the Howard County Public School System will have new start times.

The Howard County Board of Education came up with a plan in its Thursday meeting to adapt new school opening times in three tiers, to be implemented as of Aug. 28:

  • Schools in Tier 1 will start at 8 a.m. and end at 2:45 p.m. This includes all 13 high schools, a number of middle schools, Cedar Lane School and Homewood Center.
  • Schools in Tier 2 will start at 8:40 a.m. This includes a mixture of elementary and middle schools; elementary schools will end at 3:10 p.m. and middle schools will end at 3:25 p.m.
  • Schools in Tier 3 will start at 9:15 a.m. and end at 3:45 p.m. This includes the remainder of the elementary schools.

Current school start and end times will not be affected prior to the August implementation of the new times. The county said that individual school start times may vary slightly from these stated times, and that the official start time for each school will be set in the spring, with transportation routes still being finalized. The Board said there will also be changes to school and athletic schedules along with transportation considerations.

All 13 high schools in the county currently start at or around 7:25 a.m. Changes were proposed partly due to research regarding the challenges and risks involved with lack of sleep in teenagers.

A list of schools within each tier can be found online.

Tadiwos Abedje

Tadi Abedje is a freelance digital writer/editor for WTOP. He was born in Washington, D.C., and grew up in Northern Virginia. Journalism has been his No. 1 passion since he was a kid and he is blessed to be around people, telling their stories and sharing them with the world.

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