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School Start Times Subject Of Four Community Forums In Montgomery Co.

Parents say early start times can have negative effects on grades.
Sharon Pruitt: http://www.flickr.com/photos/40645538@N00/6961676525/in
Parents say early start times can have negative effects on grades.

Parents will have a big say on whether Montgomery County schools move back the start time of each day for high schools. The dates for the forums, where parents get to have their say, have been announced.

The four community forums will take place on:

  • Monday, Oct.28: Paint Branch High School, 14121 Old Columbia Pike in Burtonsville
  • Monday, Dec. 16: Richard Montgomery High School, 250 Richard Montgomery Drive in Rockville
  • Monday, Jan. 6: Seneca Valley High School, 19401 Crystal Rock Drive in Germantown
  • Monday, Feb. 10: Montgomery Blair High School, 51 University Blvd., East, in Silver Spring

All forums will be held from 7 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Free child care (ages 4 and older) and interpretation services will be provided.

Shortly after the final forum, the county board of education is expected to take up the proposal from superintendent Dr. Joshua Starr to move back the start time of classes at all high schools 50 minutes to 8:15 a.m. in the morning. Starr's plan also moves up the starting time 10 minutes each day for middle schools, and adds 30 minutes of classroom time for elementary schools daily. 

The superintendent's recommendations come after complaints from many parents that the 7:25 a.m. daily start time for high schools leaves many teens sleepy at the start of classes, which can negatively impact their grades.

If approved, the earliest the new start times would go into effect would be the 2015-2016 school year.

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