To: Joshua Starr, Superintendent and Montgomery County, MD's Superintendent of Schools and Board of Education

Changing Montgomery County, MD's High School Start Times to 8:15 AM or Later.

We respectfully request our school board to officially recognize the large and compelling body of research regarding teen sleep and academic achievement, and, with a resolution, to set a goal to start high schools in Montgomery County, MD, after 8:15 AM.

Why is this important?

When teens get the required 8.5 to 9 hours of sleep:
• School attendance goes up,
• Tardiness decreases,
• They sleep less in class,
• They get in fewer traffic accidents,
• Visit nurses and counselors less often, and,
• Report less depression and irritability.
Starting school before 8:15 AM, without a doubt, undermines optimal academic achievement.


Reasons for signing

  • Virtual learning for my high school aged child has been an up and down experience with the huge exception of the later bell time. After the BOE April 2021 meeting, I suspect they may return to a 7:45 am start time in Fall 2021. This would be a huge mistake. My child has much more energy and focus with a later start of 9am. Let's learn from the hard experience of virtual learning and keep what did work!
  • Remote learning has had several negative aspects, but one positive aspect has been the later start time for my HS sophomore
  • Personally, I'm a night owl and having late starts for my elementary school students is lovely, but all the research shows that earlier start times for the younger children, and later start times for the teens in high school is better for learning and rest. Logistically, it's also better for working parents since the teenagers can get themselves to school alone, but the elementary school students need someone to watch them until 9am, when working parents, ideally, would already be at work....