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Boston weighs changing school start times

Boston school officials expect to announce new start times on Dec. 7, but are keeping quiet about what the new times could be.
Boston school officials expect to announce new start times on Dec. 7, but are keeping quiet about what the new times could be. –Aram Boghosian/The Boston Globe, File

What time will the opening and closing bells ring at schools across Boston next fall?

According to school officials, who are working with a team of MIT researchers to redesign school schedules — the same researchers who helped develop new bus routes this fall — there are 1.8 octodecillion possibilities. That’s nearly three times the estimated number of grains of sand in the world, according to school officials.

“It’s a very complicated puzzle,’’ said John Hanlon, the school system’s chief of operations, noting that changing school start times has huge ripple effects on the deployment of buses.

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