Start School Later Howard County!
Our Goal: Safe and healthy school start times for
all Howard County Public Schools System (HCPSS) students.
2023-2024 New School Hours!
See our Elections page for candidate views on safe, healthy, and age-appropriate school hours.
See our Resources page for flyers, graphics, and videos just for Start School Later Howard County.
History of Board of Education Actions:
September 13, 2023- HCPSS announces changes to start times for operational needs as a result of busing issues, effective September 20, 2023
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- January 27, 2022: The Board of Education accepts public testimony on school start and dismissal times. You can watch the video (Agenda Item 11.C or timestamp 2:46:48 [bit of delay before first speaker])
- January 13, 2022: Decision Support Group presents their school start time and transportation report and a powerpoint to the Board of Education. The Board requested the Superintendent "bring forward a later school start time implementation plan for the start of the 2023-2024 school year by February 10, 2022." You can watch the video (Agenda Item 10.C or timestamp 3:34:32)
- June 24, 2021: HCPSS approved a contract for a transportation consultant to assist with development of bell times/bus routes.
- April 15, 2021: HCPSS discusses school start times, following a presentation by the school system. The BOE unanimously amended the recommendation to implement in the 2022-2023 school year.
- February 3, 2021: HCPSS announced that the hybrid school schedule which begins March 1st, will delay all schools 20 minutes. 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.
- The 2020-2021 Continuity of Learning Schedule posted by HCPSS as a result of COVID-19 school closure, has no middle or high school starting class before 8 a.m. and some students may start at 9 a.m. Monday check-ins are a 9 a.m. Assignments due on Fridays at 10 a.m.
- Dr. Chao Wu, HCPSS Board of Education member, summarized some of the various options discussed over the past few years in an April 18, 2019 blog post, along with links to related documents.
- On December 19, 2017, The Board of Education was presented with 4 options of school start times that allows all schools to start between 8 a.m. and 9:25 a.m. They voted 6-1 to rescind their February 2017 commitment of change in 2018-2019 school year and school hours will remain the same.
- On February 23, 2017, the Board of Education voted 6-2 to ask the Start Time Committee to develop new scenarios that have no school starting before 8 a.m. and no school starting after 9:25 a.m.
- On January 12, 2017 the Board of Education was presented with the community's feedback on the four options. At this meeting, the Board delayed any start time implementation until the 2018-2019 school year. A public hearing was held February 7th.
- On November 17, 2016, the Board of Education was presented with four options from the School Start and Dismissal Time Committee (SSDT).
- The 2013-2017 Howard County School Start and Closing Time Committee website can be found here.
- In 1997, an analysis produced three models needing between 0 to 80 more school buses (see reference in January 13, 2022 report).
In the News....
- September 14: The Baltimore Banner discusses the changes to start times that will be effective September 20 and the reasons for the problems in a guest editorial.
- August: The Baltimore Banner (August 4), WBAL (August 23), Baltimore Fishbowl (August 24), Baltimore Sun (August 28), and Baltimore Banner (August 28) discuss new school start times and transportation changes and problems.
- April 13: The Baltimore Sun discusses the impact of changing bus eligibility zones.
- March 16: The Baltimore Examiner reviews school start times across the state in light of changes by Anne Arundel and Howard Counties.
- February 24: The Baltimore Sun and WBFF Fox 45 cover the Board of Education's decision.
- February 14: The Baltimore Sun describes a joint meeting between Board of Education and County Council regarding school start times.
- January 30: The Baltimore Sun describes lessons learned from Anne Arundel County's start time implementation
- January 17 and 18: WBAL TV and the Baltimore Sun describe the public hearings on school start times.
- December 28: The Baltimore Sun describes the impact of bus driver shortage on the proposed bell time scenarios.
- December 27: The Washington Post describes the upcoming public hearings on bell time scenarios and outlines moves by Anne Arundel and Montgomery Counties.
- December 23: The Patch describes the upcoming public hearings on bell time scenarios.
- July 14: HCPSS BOE approves motion 7-1, to direct the Superintendent and HCPSS to determine a timeline for how long it would take to implement a tiering with high school in last tier, as described by the Baltimore Sun.
- February 11: HCPSS BOE unanimously approves plan presented by Decision Support Group to implement new start times in 2023-2024 school year, as described by Fox 45.
- February 22: HCPSS BOE approved the budget request for a Digital Education Center that would allow students to attend virtual school between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.
- February 3: HCPSS announced that the hybrid school schedule which begins March 1st, will delay all schools 20 minutes. 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.
- On December 19, 2017, the HCPSS Board of Education voted to rescind its February 2017 commitment to healthy and safe school hours. Read the Columbia Flier's article.
- On December 7, 2017, a parent and student testified before the HCPSS Board of Education. As part of the parent's submitted testimony, quotes from athletes regarding the importance of sleep were included. (Watch the video at the bottom of this page.)
- On April 27-28, SSL HoCo attended the Adolescent Sleep, Health, and School Start Time Conference in Washington, D.C.
- The Baltimore Sun covers the February 7, 2017 Public Forum.
- The Howard County Times explains the University of Maryland's involvement in Howard County's bus routing/bell times analysis. January 20, 2017.
- Other articles about Dr. Ali Haghani (University of Maryland) and his bus routing mathematical solution: The Academic Minute, School Transportation News, Salon, 9News (Colorado), School Transportation News, and University of Maryland's Fall 2017 Terp Alumni Magazine.
- The Howard County Times Editorial Board supports healthy and safe school hours. December 15, 2016.
- The November 30, 2016 start/dismissal time forum was covered by WMAR/ABC2.
- Letter to the Editor in the Baltimore Sun about Howard County's absentee rate and the role of early school start times. October 4, 2016.
- On April 28, 2016, the Board of Education voted to implement later school hours in the 2017-2018 school year.
- "School Start Times Under Review" Ellicot City Patch January 30, 2013.