The New Schedule: the Positive, the Negative, and the Neutral

For the 2022-2023 school year, LCPS changed the school schedule for all elementary, middle, and high schools. Both students and staff were affected in many ways such as being able to wake up later and getting home late.

LCPS has experimented with the schedule in the past, leading to much controversy.  Students and staff are left with mixed feelings regarding this years schedule change.

James Bowles Via Canva

LCPS has experimented with the schedule in the past, leading to much controversy. Students and staff are left with mixed feelings regarding this year’s schedule change.

Smrithi Balakumar and James Bowles

Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) edited the school schedule for the 22-23 school year, giving the option to elementary, middle, and high schools to either start 30 minutes earlier or later. According to the school board, the main purpose of the option was to avoid the bus shortage problems, which caused students to be late last year. 

Over the years, Rock Ridge has experimented with its schedule. From starting 15 minutes later or earlier, adding a 15 minute brain break, or switching up the lunch blocks, Rock Ridge Administration is always trying to improve its schedule. 

The Positive

On the first week of the 22-23 school year, Rock Ridge introduced a team of new teachers. The first two weeks of school gave new teachers the opportunity to adjust to the new change of pace. “[It’s] very different,” science teacher Michael Johnson said. “For the school I was at previously, we met the students everyday, it was a semester schedule. So you saw students everyday for that semester, and then next semester was full of different students.” 

Some students were happy about the new schedule change. “Yeah, I guess it helps, I get to sleep in longer,” junior Jawad Bhuller said. The earlier lunches were a “huge plus” to some students, who were happy that they didn’t have to wait until 12:30 p.m. to eat lunch anymore.

The Negative

Not all students were thrilled about the schedule change, as many thought of it as unnecessary. This year’s lunch schedule is at the center of praise and criticism. Some see it as a blessing from previous years, with last year’s dreaded D lunch now beginning at 12:36 p.m. instead of 1:30 p.m.. The criticism largely centers around  the lunch block feeling like third block instead of second, due to the lunch block being in third block last year. However, some say this feeling will pass as the school year goes on. “People like to complain about change because they don’t like the feeling of security they get when their schedule is exact, so the changing [the schedule] caused them to complain. When they get used to [the schedule], they get on top.” Senior Viv Bali said.

Teachers, however, were critical of the new schedule.. A new schedule shift can make planning a new school year harder. “I think that what ends up affecting more is the start of the second block, because people are used to having the break between first and second [block],” science teacher Samantha Spytek said. “People’s perception of how much time has passed throughout the day [was the most affected].”

The Neutral

Despite all this, some students and teachers have found both the pros and cons of having earlier lunches and starting school later. Those who looked at both sides learned to work around the schedule and made the best out of it. “You plan around it,” history teacher Howard Goldberg said. “If you play golf, it’s a similar concept. Are there things you would like to have? Oh yeah. But when you see the course in front of you, you plan accordingly.”

As of now, most students have already adjusted to the change. “I would keep the new schedule for the most part now,” Bhuller said.