Assignment Education

Board of Education to Consider Bell Times Option

The Montgomery County Board of Education will consider several options for adjusting school starting and ending times—also known as bell times—allowing high school students to begin classes later in the day. The Board will hear a presentation on the options at its Jan. 13 meeting and will gather public input throughout January and early February.

Any changes to bell times in Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) would be approved on Feb. 10 as part of the Board’s Fiscal Year 2016 Operating Budget Request to the Montgomery County Executive and County Council.

Five options for changing bell times have been presented to the Board:

  • Shift all start times 20 or 35 minutes later;
  • Start elementary school first;
  • Modify Dr. Starr’s October 2013 recommendation;
  • Split the high school day; and
  • Make no changes to bell times and explore other options to provide flexibility for high school students.

Some of the options will have little or no budgetary impact, while others will have annual costs between $2.6 million and $5.85 million.  Transportation is the driving factor behind the cost of these proposals.

The Board will hold two public hearings on bell times, both on Thursday, Jan. 22, in the auditorium of the Carver Educational Services Center at 850 Hungerford Drive in Rockville. The first hearing will run from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., and the second will run from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Those wishing to testify should call 301.279.3617 to reserve a spot, starting at 9 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 15. All speakers will have three minutes. Written feedback can be sent to belltimes@mcpsmd.org and should be submitted before the close of business on Monday, Feb. 2.

Superintendent Joshua P. Starr recommends that the Board consider no-cost options, options given concerns about budget deficits at the state and local level.

LPMS Students Most Hopeful

According to a 2014 Gallup Student Poll, when compared to Montgomery County Public School’s 38 middle schools, Lakelands Park Middle School and Robert Frost Middle School tied at 70 percent for the highest “Hopeful” rating in the county! Gallup’s 20-question survey is a measure of student success in academic and other youth development settings as predicted by student wellbeing.

Save the Dates!

Rachel Carson Elementary School holds its popular RCES Science and Invention Night on Jan. 28, 7 p.m. Look for variety shows at Lakelands park Middle School and Quince Orchard High School on Jan. 29.

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