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MoCo School Officials Propose Pushing Back Morning Bell By 50 Minutes

Teens in Montgomery County may soon be able to hit the snooze button a few more times.

Montgomery County Public Schools Superintendent Joshua Starr has recommended starting high schools 50 minutes later. He also wants to extend the elementary school day by 30 minutes.

Starr says “extensive research” shows students are simply not getting enough sleep and this is a “public health and safety issue.” He says an important part of the school district’s mission is student well-being.

Starr would like high school to begin at 8:15 instead of 7:25 and middle school to start 10 minutes earlier. While he’d like to keep elementary school times as they are now, Starr wants to extend the day by 30 minutes, which would add the equivalent of 14 days of instruction.

But any changes wouldn't be implemented until the 2015-16 school year. This next year will be spent studying the feasibility and impact of changing start times including costs.

Starr’s recommendation is based on a report called the Bell Times Work Group that studied school's start and end times for almost a year.

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