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Updates for the 2023-2024 School Year Related to Start Times and Transportation

March 20th, 2023

The Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) wants families to be aware of upcoming changes and processes for the 2023–2024 school year related to start times and transportation. As announced in February, the Board of Education approved shifting start times for the 2023-2024 school year. In the coming weeks, families will receive additional information related to transportation changes for next school year, including completing registration to receive bus transportation for families who live in bus coverage areas. HCPSS staff is currently in the process of developing informational materials, writing responses to Frequently Asked Questions, and preparing resources for school system staff to support families with the changes.

Prior to spring break, families will receive new non-transportation area (walk area) maps. For many schools, these areas have been expanded based on changes made to Board of Education Policy 5200 Student Transportation, which increases the allowable distances students can walk to school. Once these changes are communicated, families will be able to check their school’s updated walk area map to see if their eligibility for bus service has changed for next school year.

After spring break, families will receive instructions to register for bus service for the 2023-2024 school year. Policy 5200 implements mandatory bus registration, which will take effect for the first time this year, and will then become an annual process.

We know that many families are eager to learn about the impact of the policy changes and school start time adjustments. HCPSS is working through the impacts to school schedules, services and all other related items and more information will be available in the coming weeks. In the meantime, families can consult these FAQs regarding transportation.

As a reminder, these changes take effect for the 2023–2024 school year beginning in August 2023.