SCPS Frustrates Students with Change and Surprises No One


photo by Catalina Sanchez

To begin the 2021-2022 school year, SCPS trashed everything. Similar to a piece of rich chocolate that provides quick joy – it becomes a sugary pit, sitting in the stomach and never thought of again. Stafford students were forced to treat life like a box of chocolates – guessing what the next taste would be.

In the 2020-2021 school year, students were introduced to a new system of learning, a new start and end time of 9:20 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and a new schedule that permitted students to wake up later than the time of two years ago: 7:45 a.m. to 2:15 p.m.. 

Due to the overwhelming change caused by virtual learning, staff and students were granted “asynchronous Mondays” to catch up on work while attending classes assigned through the Canvas website. 

This year, students must adapt to yet another new set of start times, lunch shifts and class lengths. The Smoke Signal ran a story about a shortage of bus drivers in Volume 69, Issue One (2019), and now that a majority of the student body is back in the building, it’s a relevant issue again.

The Stafford County School Board’s intention to switch elementary school and high school start times was based upon data suggesting high schoolers work more efficiently in the late a.m., while younger students work best earlier.

Last week, Stafford released another new schedule with hopes of solving the bus dilemma by shifting the high school start time 25 minutes later, the middle school start time 15 minutes later and pushing the first shift of the elementary school 15 minutes earlier.