School Start Times To Undergo Additional Changes

by Kayla Cohen ‘17

Numerous education unions are lobbying the MCPS Board of Education to revert back to old bell times at no additional cost to the county. On January 10, the Board met to discuss this recurring issue.

The debate is ongoing, even among parents. The effect the time change has had on elementary school students motivates some parents towards wanting the old start times back. The elementary school day is slightly extended and teachers have noted that the children grow tired as the day continues. Valerie Coll, a teacher at Flora M. Singer Elementary in Silver Spring, said in “The Washington Post” that, “They tucker out. Not all students are able to develop the academic stamina.” Also, parents note that childcare costs are an added expense due to the current start times. On the other hand, parents of high school students who are for the current starting times maintain that they have seen tremendous improvement in their children’s sleep habits and academic performance.

Junior Matthew Post was present at the January 10 meeting to express his opposition to changing back start times to 7:25. “This is a biological issue,” explained Post. “Doctors and universities and students are all in consensus that later start times re ect the natural circadian rhythm of teenagers. It’s recommended that schools should start at 8:30 so pushing them even earlier from 7:45 is a total step backwards.”