School Start &

Dismissal Times

Phase I--Task Force: February 2014-December 2014
Phase II--New Work: January 2015-December 2015
Phase III--Community Involvement: January 2016-February 2016
Phase IV--Board Requested Options: March 2016-Present

Home Start & Dismissal Time Resources Task Force Members Start & Dismissal Community Surveys

Superintendent's Proposed Models for 2017 Start Times
Model Proposed in April 2016 (Following New BOE Request)
Model Proposed in December 2015
Task Force Conclusions
School Start & Dismissal Times Task Force Study: Execuitve Summary
Task Force Start Time Options with Cost Estimates

After-School Activities & Sports
Before & After-School Care
Definition of Terms

Frequently Asked Questions

Upcoming Events

Option A

NOTE: This page describes one of the models presented in October 2014 by the AACPS School Start Times Task Force. To review Superintendent George Arlotto’s proposal to shift school start and dismissal times in the 2017-2018 school year, click here .

High schools begin at 8:30AM; middle schools begin at 9:30AM; and elementary schools begin between 7:50AM and 9:15AM.


With this option, high school begins 73 minutes later than current start times, middle school begins the latest, starting 35 to 95 minutes later, and the elementary school start time window will open 5-10 minutes earlier. Within this elementary school window, the majority of schools will see a 5-10 minute shift in start times. However, some schools within each cluster may have significantly different start times, as determined by bus scheduling. The Transportation Office will be reviewing potential bus routes during the 2014-2015 school year.


Pros for Option A

Cons for Option A

Health & Safety

  • Both high school and middle school adolescents would meet the  American Association of Pediatricians  (AAP) recommended school start time for adolescents.
  • For most elementary schools the potential scheduling adjustments are minimal, as long as the tiers remain in the same order. (Some elementary schools may be significantly impacted, as determined by where their school falls within the tier once start time adjustments are made).
  • Elementary and middle schools begin and end at a time that is safe (daylight hours) for walkers.
  • Middle school students will be in school during the afternoon hours, time that some adolescents may, if unsupervised, otherwise become engaged in inappropriate activities.
  • Alternative and Magnet school students who are currently dropped off during Tier 4 (the last tier) at consolidated bus stops will now be dropped off much later (darkness).
  • Potential safety consideration for students and Crossing Guards due to reduced visibility in the fall/winter afternoons (darkness).

After-school  Activities &  Sports 

  • High school dismissal time provides adequate time for high school students to participate in after-school sports and extracurricular activities.
  • Middle school students may have less time after school for sports, extracurricular activities, and after-school help. Students choosing to stay after may need to walk home in the dark during late fall and winter months.
  • High school after-school sports and extracurricular activities may be negatively impacted (late hours and darkness).
  • Community sports and activities organized by the Anne Arundel County Department of Recreation and Parks will be delayed.

Before & After  School Care 


  • Middle school students may have unsupervised alone time in the morning before leaving for school.
  • Some families may need to arrange before school care for their middle school students.



  • A significant number of additional buses would need to be acquired.
  • This option will require an increased number of buses on the road between 8 and 9 AM, impacting rush hour traffic patterns, increasing the possibility of accidents and potentially increasing the cost of buses.
  • Bus drivers are difficult to find and retain currently.  More buses are required for Option A and thus more bus drivers are required.

Estimated Annual Cost: $8,900,000

Transportation: $8,400,000

How were these transportation costs determined?

This option will require 124 additional buses. Significant adjustments to transportation schedules would be needed because buses often run multiple routes serving schools at different grade levels. Because this option would change the tiered structures of elementary, middle, and high schools, the necessary route changes would be substantial and would require many additional buses.

Staffing: $500,000

This option will require 7 additional employees to help manage the additional buses and transportation routes (one transportation specialist, technician and driver trainer handles an average of 65 buses):

  • 2 Area Specialists
  • 2 Operational Technicians
  • 2 Driver/Trainers
  • 1 Clerical Staff


Click here to see all start time options.

School Start Times Task Force   |   Anne Arundel County Public Schools   |   410-222-5000