Plans to delay MCPS start times halted for now

(WJLA) - "Sometimes I'm falling asleep in class...I don't want to, but I'm really tired," says Izza Garcia, a student at Walter Johnson High School.

That’s the reality of an early wake-up call for Garcia.

"I live kind of far away, so I get up at 5 a.m."

Classes start at 7:25 a.m., and despite efforts from some members of the school community to push the time 50 minutes later, Superintendent Starr has recommended the school system not move forward with the changes right now – according to MCPS spokesperson, Dana Tofig.

Starr had originally supported the idea after a year-long work group came out with a study that showed the health impact start times can have on students.

But additional information like cost and public input ultimately contributed to Tuesday’s recommendation to not set aside additional funds to make the change happen – at least for now.

While some are devastated by the halt in plans, others aren't nearly as disappointed.

MCPS parent Lisa Cirillo says it would have meant a big adjustment:

"You can shift it later, but that means the athletics shift later, and probably going to bed is later."

Under the proposal, middle schools would start 10 minutes earlier, and elementary schools would extend the day by 30 minutes.

"That would be adding buses, drivers, and fuel just to make this work," said Tofig.

Next Tuesday on June 17, the Board of Education will get a chance to review and discuss Dr. Starr’s recommendation. He says he is willing to revisit the issue in the future.