xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

Anne Arundel schools will switch to later high school start times next fall

After years of discussion the Anne Arundel County Board of Education said Wednesday evening that it would implement a plan to change school start times next fall, allowing high school students to start classes after 8:30 a.m., an hour later.

Board President Melissa Ellis said the board had initially set January as its goal to make the change. Moving high school start times later is the healthy choice for students, backed up by decades of research, she said.

Advertisement

“That being said we have to face — I have to face — reality,” she said.

At the Board of Education meeting Wednesday evening Tatia Prieto of Prismatic Services Inc., which was contracted to assist with bus routing and planning for the start time change, made a presentation. Prieto said districts typically change start times at the start of a new school year, as it affects every single person in the district — employees, contractors, students, everyone.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Right now high schools in Anne Arundel start at 7:30 a.m. Some elementary schools start as late as 9:40 a.m.

While the exact start time of each school is still to be determined, the changes would allow high schoolers to start later and elementary students to start earlier. Elementary start times will fall between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m., middle school start times will range from 8:30 a.m. to 9:15 a.m. and high schools will start after 8:30 a.m.

“The months of January through March are so, so difficult for a lot of our students,” Ellis said. “I just implore you to know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. These days are coming to an end, of waking our kids up before the sun.

The new start times won’t require any additional buses. Prieto said 32 additional buses are needed to address existing crowding issues.

Advertisement

Several board members said their own children have been affected by the early start times. District 6 Representative Joanna Tobin said she thinks it is the wisest course to make the change in the fall.

Arlotto said the system already has a team of employees working on the implementation of the change, and he will also designate or hire a project manager. Transportation contracts will need to be renegotiated with the 15 entities that AACPS contracts with.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement