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Superintendent Recommends Bell Time Changes

October 14, 2013

FD2013MCPS Superintendent Joshua P. Starr is recommending that the district consider pushing back high school start times by 50 minutes and extending the elementary school day by 30 minutes. The recommendation is based on the report of the 2013 Bell Times Work Group, which has been studying the impact of school starting and ending times and student sleep habits for the past 10 months.

Dr. Starr is recommending the following changes be studied:

– Move high school start times 50 minutes later, from 7:25 a.m. to 8:15 a.m. (school ending at 3 p.m.)
– Move middle school start times 10 minutes earlier, from 7:55 a.m. to 7:45 a.m. (school ending at 2:30 p.m.)
– Keep elementary school start times as they currently are (8:50 a.m. and 9:15 a.m.), but extend the school day by 30 minutes (school ending at 3:35 p.m. and 4 p.m.)

Currently, the elementary school day in MCPS is 6 hours and 15 minutes, which is 30 minutes shorter than middle and high school students. MCPS has the second shortest elementary school day in the state of Maryland.

Broad public input will be sought from students, staff, parents and community members on the recommendation. The outreach will include four public meetings, with the first being held on Monday, Oct. 28, 7p.m. – 8:30 p.m., at Paint Branch High School. Bell times outreach will also include focus groups, surveys, and other opportunities for community input.  A full communication and engagement plan will be announced later this month. Comments can also be e-mailed to  For more information and to read the 2013 work group report, visit the Bell Times website.