Revise the HCPSS Hybrid Schedule to Better Adjust Students to In-Person Learning

Revise the HCPSS Hybrid Schedule to Better Adjust Students to In-Person Learning

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Zane Dalton started this petition to HCPSS Board of Education and

The Howard County Public School System has recently voted to approve a hybrid schedule that would bring with it major changes to the school day. Under this new schedule, all high school students would go to school at 7:45 AM, a full hour and a half earlier than the current school starting time, 9:00 AM. Classes would last 85 minutes instead of 45 minutes, meaning an additional 40 minutes each class period (an increase by almost double). The current (online) schedule, consists of two classes, followed by a 2 hour and 25-minute break before another two classes. The new hybrid model would have a 55-minute lunch break in between the first two classes and the second two classes instead of the current break, which lasts 2 hours and 25 minutes. Overall, the hybrid school day would last 6 hours and 45 minutes, whereas the current school schedule lasts 5 hours and 55 minutes. Excluding breaks, the hybrid model would last 5 hours and 50 minutes vs. the current school day, at 3 hours and 30 minutes.

To sum things up, the new hybrid schedule would mean:

  • 7:45 start time (an hour and a half earlier than our current start time)
  • Classes last 85 minutes instead of 45 (almost double the length)
  • 55-minute lunch break instead of our current 2 hour and 25-minute break
  • School day lasts 2 hours and 20 minutes longer, not including breaks

Particularly egregious is that the HCPSS Board of Education has hardly done anything at all to make students aware of these changes. Teachers have not discussed the new hybrid model in class in any meaningful way, and detailed information regarding schedule changes took me almost half an hour to find. This new schedule marks a step in the wrong direction for HCPSS schools. It will undoubtedly cause students more harm than good. Students will be inattentive due to the longer class times and likely exhausted due to a change in sleep schedule. Howard County high school students have been asking for a later start time for many years, and the current schedule finally better aligns with the needs of students. During these unprecedented times, it is more important than ever to focus on well-being, and I believe the new hybrid model goes directly against the well-being of students. Join me if you believe the same and feel that the hybrid model must be revised.

The following links provide more information regarding the new hybrid model:

https://go.boarddocs.com/mabe/hcpssmd/Board.nsf/files/BXLVPQ7D92DA/$file/01%2025%202021%20School%20Status%20Work%20Session%20PowerPoint.pdf - This is the official PowerPoint presentation outlining the details of the new hybrid model which were approved on January 26th of this year. The proposed high school hybrid schedule can be found on page 12 of the PDF.

https://go.boarddocs.com/mabe/hcpssmd/Board.nsf/Public - This resource allows you to see the outcome of the January 26 meeting, in which the new hybrid model was approved. You can also view a video of the meeting. To access this information, select "Meetings" near the top right corner and look for "Jan 26, 2021 (Tue)" under "2021," then click "View the Agenda."

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