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Howard County School Board reviews proposed new school start times

Public hearing scheduled for Jan. 26
Howard County School Board
Posted at 6:42 AM, Jan 18, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-26 00:56:25-05

ELLICOTT CITY, Md. — School start times will be the topic of conversation at a work session by the Howard County School Board Thursday.

The school board voted to approve suggested new start times last February and produced a final school-by-school bell time report in December.

The proposed new start times could have the biggest impact on teenagers. Right now, the earliest time the bell rings for high school students is 7:25 a.m., but teens could sleep in a little bit longer if an 8 o'clock start time is approved.

If Howard County public school administrators change school start times, the new bell schedule will take effect in the 2023–2024 school year.

Howard County high school students currently start their day at 7:25 a.m. The new time proposes a later start, with an 8 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. school day for high school students.

Elementary school students currently start their day between 8:15 a.m. and 9:25 a.m; the proposed times are 8:40 to 3:10 p.m. or 9:15 a.m. to 3:45 a.m., depending upon the school.

Howard County middle school students currently start school between 7:40 a.m. and 8:25 a.m. but the proposed start time would give middle school students a uniform 8:40 a.m. to 3:25 a.m. bell schedule throughout the county.

The Howard County Board of Education will hold a public work session tomorrow to discuss these considerations.

The public is invited to attend but may not participate. Community members do have opportunities to give feedback at public hearings.

Registration is now open online to testify at the Jan. 26 public hearing.

Anyone who would like to testify but can't make it in person may submit written testimony online or send it by U.S. mail.

Click here for more information on individual school start times and details on registration to testify or submit written testimony.