MCPS to Study School Start Times
Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) Superintendent Joshua Starr announced on Dec. 11 the establishment of a work group to study the issue of school bell times.
The work group will look at past reports done by MCPS on this issue; review public input and correspondence that have been received; analyze the efforts of other jurisdictions that have considered changing bell times; review current literature and research; and gather community input.
“This is a very complex issue and I want to make sure we have a full understanding of the impact that school bell times have on student achievement and other areas of development,” Dr. Starr said. “A change in school bell times would affect every student in Montgomery County, and would have a significant impact on our budget and operations. Therefore, it is imperative we have all the information we need before making any decisions.”
Changing school start times for high school students has been discussed in Montgomery County and throughout the nation. MCPS studied this issue extensively in 1998 and released a report entitled “Changing Bell Times.” No changes were made to bell times as a result of the report. The issue has been raised at different times over the past 10 years and on Tuesday, a group of parents submitted an online petition to the Board of Education asking the district to move back school start times.
The work group will begin meeting soon and a report should be completed sometime in the spring.