The Howard County Public School System announced Wednesday the start times for all 77 schools once hybrid learning begins March 1.
All school start times will be 20 minutes later than they were when students were last in school buildings in March 2020. Elementary schools will start between 8:35 and 9:45 a.m., middle schools will begin between 8 and 8:45 a.m., and the first bell for all 12 high schools will be 7:45 a.m. Elementary and middle schools will start at different times to maximize bus route efficiency.
Class subjects and courses will not change once the hybrid model begins March 1, but the length of classes will.
The schedule changes will apply to all students, including those selected for a five-day-a-week program, those in hybrid and those who choose to remain virtual for the remainder of the academic year. The district sent out commitment forms to families last week to ascertain how many students will opt into the hybrid model. The deadline to reply is 4 p.m. Friday.
All students will see an increase in instructional time from about 12 to 13 hours a week to 20 to 25 hours. Educators will be teaching both virtual and in-person students concurrently.
The hybrid students will be placed on an A-day/B-day schedule, with one group learning in person on Mondays and Tuesdays and the other group on Thursdays and Fridays. Wednesdays will remain for self-guided instruction and homework. A separate group of students, which has been identified by the school system as the most in need, is being offered the five-day-a-week plan.
Staff, meanwhile, does not have a fully virtual option. About 75% of staff will be asked back to school buildings on Feb. 22 to prepare for the students in the five-day-a-week program returning March 1. Then on March 15, pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and first and second grade students will return. On March 29, students in grades 3 through 6, 9 and 12 will return, while students in grades 7, 8, 10 and 11 will come back April 12.
Here are the start and end times for all 77 public schools in Howard County, beginning March 1: