Howard County Public School System Changes Start Times

Every day, high school students wake up at dawn to start learning at 7:25 a.m.

On Thursday, February 10, the Howard County Board of Education confirmed a change to the start time, with high school’s now starting at 8:30 a.m. The delayed start time also pushes the original dismissal time from 2:10 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.

The Board decided upon this change in an effort to ensure high school students are getting sufficient sleep each night. In their decision, they also took into consideration factors such as the cold weather conditions students have to wake up to every morning. 

Lila Mini, a Centennial sophomore, said, “I think I would benefit a lot [from it], but it has its pros and cons. It would help me be able to eat breakfast in the morning and wake up on time.”

Melody Lou, another sophomore at Centennial, stated, “If school started later I’d have more energy to be able to pay attention in classes which is a really big struggle at the moment. Plus, I’d have more energy after school to be able to do my homework.”

Stanford medical studies have shown that when students get less sleep, they are more likely to have a harder time focusing in class. For teenagers, it is necessary to sleep eight to ten hours a night. Students can still continue to struggle after school from sleep deprivation as well. The stress and weariness builds up, making it harder for students to make it through their whole day.

Some students are conflicted with the future dismissal time, however. It gives less time for their personal lives and after school activities. Additionally, it could impact sports and other extracurriculars by delaying their practices and meetings. Depending on the time of year, practices could take place after sunset. 

Jasmine Park, a Centennial freshman, stated, “I wouldn’t enjoy it because I have extracurricular activities at around 4:00 or 5:00 p.m. That’s the only thing holding me back from wanting school to start later.” 

Many students seem delighted with the future start time but are unsure about the dismissal. It won’t fix all the occurring problems, but it gives students a chance to get one more hour of sleep before going about their school days.


For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan