See below for translations of video transcripts and guiding questions

Neighbor to Neighbor Home Page → Bell Time Changes

MCPS Neighbor to Neighbor

Toolkit on the Bell Time Changes



Neighbor to Neighbor discussions will be an important part of the feedback that MCPS gathers on Superintendent Joshua P. Starr’s recommendation to change school starting and ending times, also known as bell times. Everything you need to host and/or participate in a Neighbor to Neighbor discussion is enclosed in this toolkit. Please make sure to share your input with us either using the form below or by sending answers to the questions to and put “Neighbor to Neighbor” in the subject line.



Gather a group and choose a location

Everyone is invited to host a Neighbor to Neighbor discussion. It can take place during a PTA meeting; a brown bag lunch at a local business or non-profit; or in the home of a neighbor or family member The group size is up to the host, but make sure everyone has a chance to participate.

Choose a location that, preferably, has internet access so those in attendance can view the resource documents and video that are part of this toolkit. If an internet-ready site isn’t available, print the documents in advance and make copies. If you need an off-line copy of the video, just email



Watch the video and review documents

This video will give you a quick overview of Dr. Starr’s recommendation and the information he used to develop the proposal. There are also documents you can download and print, including an overview of the report developed by the Bell Times Work Group, which studied the issue of school start times and the impact they have on student well-being. You can also view the entire work group report or visit the Bell Times website for links to more information. The video, combined with the resource documents, should provide a foundation for your discussion. If you have other questions, email and we will get you an answer as quickly as possible.

   español | 中文 | français | Việt Nam | 한국어 | Amharic 



Have your conversation

It’s time to begin your discussion. Below are the guiding questions we would ask your group to discuss and respond to, during your conversation. These are the same questions being asked at our four community forums and other outreach efforts. These are not the only questions your group can consider but please do take the time to consider the questions below. Make sure to appoint a note taker, who can, if they like, use the online form below or take notes in another manner so they can be shared with us. You can also submit photos from your event. If you are going to Tweet or use Facebook during your event, please use the hashtag #mcpsN2N.

Conversation starter questions:  (español | 中文 | français | Vit Nam | 한국어 |Amharic)

  1. What are the major benefits to you and your family if the Superintendent’s recommendation to change school start times is implemented? Please think about all of your family members (not just school-age children) as you discuss this topic. 
  2. a. What are the major challenges to you and your family if the Superintendent’s recommendation to change school start times is implemented? Please think about all of your family members (not just school-age children) as you discuss this topic. 
    b. For each of the major challenges identified, please provide potential solutions that you believe would help alleviate that problem for your family (e.g., additional lighting for sports fields, childcare for elementary and middle school students). 
  3. a. What factors in your daily schedule of activities beyond the MCPS school day will be impacted by this change? Those factors may include recreational facilities; daycare and after-school care facilities; businesses; family life; sports and extracurricular activities; or others.
    b. Which of the factors is most important or least important when considering a change of this type? 


Share your thoughts

Please submit your notes and any pictures using the online submission form linked above. You do not have to provide the names of everyone in your group, but please identify the group providing the feedback. It would also be helpful to have the name and contact information for the host. Please do not mention the names of specific children in your notes.

All notes will be compiled and considered as part of the report of community feedback to be shared with the Board of Education and the Superintendent later in the school year. Pictures may be posted on the Neighbor to Neighbor website and other MCPS resources


If you have a question about Neighbor to Neighbor, call the Department of Public Information and Web Services at (301) 279-3853 or email