At a recent Anne Arundel Board of Education meeting, recommendations for later start times were supported by many parents.
Melissa Ellis, Vice President of the Anne Arundel board, said that it’s a health issue recognized by many. Currently, the first period of high school in Anne Arundel County starts at 7:30 a.m. After Prismatic Services recommended over two dozen transportation-related changes, the start time for high school could be changed to 8 a.m. or even 9 a.m.
Schallheim* pointed out to studies conducted by Virginia’s Fairfax County and other school systems that showed “amazing” results when schools have moved to later start times. ”
“These include increased attendance, improved test scores. Zero, I said it. Zero negative effects when it comes to athletics and student jobs, improved graduation rates, and improved mental health for our students,” Schallheim said.
She also said a study conducted in Virginia found a school that moved its start time to later in the day saw fewer car accidents involving students. Additionally, she said there are benefits for students who work part-time jobs that run into the evening.
* Dana Schallheim is a member of the Anne Arundel County Board of Education.
The school board will take up the issue of school start times late next month or early March, as well as other recommendations from Prismatic.