In the wake of three community forums and months of discussion about a proposal by Superintendent George Arlotto to shift school hours, Anne Arundel County Public Schools will launch a survey at 8 p.m. today to garner formal community input about the plan.
The results of the survey, along with comments generated at the forums and those left online since December, will be provided to the Board of Education as it gets set to approve its requested Fiscal Year 2017 operating budget.
The survey, which is also available in Spanish, will be open through February 14, 2016. It can be found in the top right portion of the school start and dismissal times page of the AACPS website, located at www.aacps.org/schoolstarttimes. Anyone without internet access who needs a paper copy of the survey can call the Communications Office at 410-222-5316 to receive one.
In his Fiscal Year 2017 budget recommendation to the Board, Dr. Arlotto included $8.1 million to fund the shift beginning in August 2017. The funding would be combined with the $602,000 allocated by the County Council this year to enact a plan that would see high schools start at 8:30 a.m., middle schools begin no earlier than 9:30 a.m., and elementary schools open between 7:50 and 9:15 a.m. No school would dismiss later than 4:15 p.m.
Shifting school hours in August 2017 provides time for funding to be in place to allow the necessary additional buses to be acquired by contractors and additional drivers and aides to be trained. In his December budget address to the Board, Dr. Arlotto emphasized that the funding to shift school hours must be in place before any changes would occur and urged the County Executive and County Council not to take it from other areas of the Board’s budget.
Details of Dr. Arlotto’s proposal regarding start and dismissal times, a complete list of tentatively proposed school hours for 2017-2018, and a section for public comment can be found here.