The plight of sleep-deprived teenagers will soon get a closer look in Anne Arundel County, where school officials are creating a task force to study the hours of the school day.
In Anne Arundel, the first bell of the high school day rings at 7:17 a.m., earlier than the start times in both Montgomery and Fairfax counties, where officials are considering starting high schools at later times.
Under a proposal adopted Dec. 18 by the Anne Arundel Board of Education, the interim superintendent, Mamie J. Perkins, will appoint the task force. A report is expected by fall.
The school board also asked that an online survey be conducted about shifting school hours.
“We’re thrilled that the school system is going to take a serious look at how later start times can benefit high school students,” said Heather Macintosh, a parent and co-leader of the Anne Arundel chapter of Start School Later, a national organization.
The Anne Arundel group launched an online petition that asked that no child of any age be required to be in class before 8 a.m. or on a bus before 7 a.m. The group says bus pickups in Anne Arundel begin as early as 5:50 a.m. The petition includes more than 3,900 names.
— Donna St. George
Two Fairfax County elementary schools received awards from the Virginia Board of Education for the improved test scores of at-risk students on state-mandated tests.
Belvedere Elementary in the Falls Church area and Lorton Station Elementary in Lorton were among 57 Virginia schools recognized by the state for improved pass rates on state math and reading exams.
The Title I Distinguished Schools awards were given for the improved performance of students from low-income families in the 2011-12 and 2012-13 school years.
— T. Rees Shapiro
D.C. teachers who received erroneous performance evaluations as a result of faulty calculations of the “value” they added to student achievement last school year. Half of the evaluations were too high; half were too low. One teacher was fired because of a low rating.