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Montgomery Co. School Board Reserves Judgment On Start Time Proposal

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The proposal would push back high school start times in Montgomery County to 8:15 a.m.
Eric Castro: http://www.flickr.com/photos/30182398@N00/5503890234
The proposal would push back high school start times in Montgomery County to 8:15 a.m.

The superintendent of schools in Montgomery County gave his "State of the Schools" address this morning, but one major topic was absent from his speech: starting time for high schools.

Dr. Joshua Starr did not mention his proposal to move back the start time of each day at high schools by one hour during his address. Starr says the plan is now in the county board of education's hands, and board president Christopher Barclay says they don't have much to say about it now because they're still getting feedback at public hearings through February.

But there is one board member who's already on-board with the change. Justin Kim is the student member of the board and as a senior at Poolesville High School, likes the later start time.

"Last year I was that student who stayed up until 2 a.m. in the morning studying," Kim says. "Looking back, I definitely realized that importance of sleep."

Opponents of the plan say research on whether high school-age kids function better at later points in the morning is inconclusive and that a later start means a later end to the day, which cuts into time for sports teams and after-school clubs.

The board is expected to vote sometime this spring on the plan.

The next public hearing on the subject is Dec. 16 at Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville.

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