Hebron News

It’s Official: A Future of Later Start Times and More Sleep

By: Serenity Holland

An unspoken exhaust has been present among students attending high school in Howard County — but perhaps for no more. On Feb. 23, a Howard County Board of Education meeting produced an outcome of an 8 a.m. start time effective next year for students in Tier 1, which includes all 13 high schools and several middle schools.

The current 7:25 a.m. start time leaves many deprived of sleep beneficial to their learning experience, resulting in complaints that have landed in the lap of Board of Education officials.

Mt. Hebron senior Emily Ching is notoriously late to school, and when asked the amount of sleep she gets a night, “I got 3 last night,” she said. 

In Ching’s fourth year subjected to a 7:25 a.m. start time, she has not sacrificed her tendency to be a night owl. 

She explains the need for a change, “I feel like kids will be more awake so they’ll have more energy to learn.” 

Though at least an hour could be gained in the midst of an 8 a.m. start time, not everyone is pleased with the overlap a 2:45 p.m. end time may cause.

Lillie Schultz, a Mt. Hebron sophomore expresses the start time should stay the same. Though she “doesn’t get enough sleep” and “works a lot during the day,” she vouches for an earlier release. 

Schools in Tier 2 will have some elementary schools releasing their students at 3:10 p.m., 15 minutes before all middle schools will release their students. The current system that allows older students to arrive home before their younger siblings has allowed parents to be worry free in regards to after school care for their young ones — an uncertainty under new start times.

HCPSS announces this implementation will take months to establish and correspond with its internal and external partners. They will provide updates that can be found on the HCPSS website for those seeking out logistics.

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