Start and Stop Times Revert… again

This infographic is available on the Stafford Public Schools website and displays the updated time schedule for next year.

The constant time changes have been chaotic for everyone and were thought to be over at the start of the year. In August, 2021, the school day started at 9:25 a.m. and let out at 3:30 p.m. Later, this was changed to the current start time of 9:35 a.m. This time-change mess was fresh at the beginning of the year, and once students finally adjusted, they were hit with another change. These bothersome time changes haven’t happened in previous years.

The Stafford County School Board’s most recent decision, made on March 22, 2022, to revert the bell schedule back to a starting ring of 7:30 a.m. is definitely going to be an improvement. The School Board spent five hours on March 22 deciding what bell schedule worked best. Their hope was that students of all age groups would attend school at a suitable time. 

It makes life easier for most elementary and middle aged students – not just high schoolers. Parents won’t have to arrange daycare for their young kids because  their older siblings will be  home from school early enough to watch them. 

A poll sent out by the Indian Legend yearbook revealed that out of 521 students, 75 percent chose starting school at 7:35 am. Before the coronavirus pandemic, Stafford County high schools started at 7:35 am. Seniors have been the quietest group in this conversation, as they will not be present during the 2022-2023 school-year. Freshmen and sophomores have never experienced the earlier start time so they are clueless as to how the adjustment might affect them.

“While this issue does not affect me due to the fact that I am graduating, however I do think that this new schedule is a good idea,” senior Christopher Elmore said. 

“I work, so making it to my 4 o’clock shift requires sprinting down 3 floors and racing to my car to have any chance of leaving before 4 o’clock. It can be dangerous for other students who have to do the same because they’ll probably end up having to speed to get to work on time which can lead to more reckless driving. It’s an unnecessary risk.” senior Carson Jenkins said. 

I feel that we should start school at 7:30 in the morning because the students with the younger siblings could be home to pick their students up. A lot of students work now, it would help their work schedule and they wouldn’t be so stressed out about homework either.” 

Sophomores – like the freshmen – don’t care as much as the juniors and seniors, but they also agree that it is a good idea to change the times back to 7:30 am. “The later start gives students time to study and do physical activities in the morning, which would be less feasible if we started earlier,” sophomore Mailynn Nguyen said.