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Howard County superintendent presents time change plan, board raises concerns

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Posted at 10:25 PM, Sep 18, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-19 00:05:19-04

HOWARD COUNTY, Md. — If you live in Howard County, your kids will go to school at different times starting this Wednesday.

A new school day start time adjustment is the latest in the county's effort to clean up the serious transit issues which began during the first week of the school year.

Dr. Michael Martirano, the Howard County School Superintendent, presented the time change plan and answered questions from board members.

"I'm happy to report today was the first day with no suspended or canceled routes," Martirano said at a Monday afternoon meeting. "Continuous improvement is the goal."

Under the plan, some schools start a few minutes sooner, others start later. The superintendent hopes the slack will improve on-time arrivals.

New Howard Co Start Times

READ MORE: School start time changes to take effect in Howard County on September 20

"We believe these modifications will correct a majority of the buses that are currently arriving at their stops behind schedule," said Martirano.

It all began the first day of school a few weeks ago - when several Howard County families saw major delays or cancellations of their kids' bus routes.

Over the last few weeks, Howard County leadership has tried to address that problem. But the recent plan from the superintendent hasn't won the full confidence of the school board here.

"Our concerns are numerous," Antonia Watts, chair of the Howard County School Board, told WMAR.

"We have concerns about the data being used to make the decision," Watts elaborated, "We have concerns about whether we'll have to make this change again in the future. We have concerns about shifting the school start times, that the board really wanted the later school times for high school students."

The change is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, September 20.