New Bell Schedule Impacts FHS Students and Staff


This year’s updated bell schedule for normal school days and advisory days.

Olivia Johnson, Staff Writer

At the end of the 2021-2022 school year, Loudoun County announced that 17 high schools would be changing their school hours from 9:15 a.m. – 4:03 p.m. to 9:30 a.m.- 4:18 p.m., making it so school would start 15 minutes later and end 15 minutes later. On top of this major change, FHS also completely changed its bell schedule as well as its parking policy.

Due to the amount of overwhelming changes all at once, many FHS students and teachers have very strong, mixed feelings about them.

“I like how [school starts] later in the day, but I don’t like how it [ends] late in the afternoon,” said junior Ava Whittaker. “When I get home it’s already dinner time and I also have D lunch [which is] really late in the day.”

Since everything is later than it was before, many students, especially those who have the latest lunch (D lunch), are not able to eat until as late as 2:23 p.m. on days that are advisory days. Although there is this delay, FHS has brought back their 10 minute breaks in between first and second block on Monday’s, Wednesday’s, and Thursday’s, in order to give students a chance to eat breakfast or even an early snack. 

Many teachers and coaches are negatively impacted because of how it affects before and after school activities. 

“I think it’s all around a bad idea starting everything later [because it] pushes all the afternoon extracurricular activities back,” said FHS band teacher Jonathan Schiffler. “It’s going to create more missed time, especially in the spring season when students have to compete in athletics with schools that get out two hours earlier, which means our students will just be missing more class time. It [even] makes it harder to find spaces especially for outdoor activities such as marching band. There are only so many lights so when the sun goes down rather early this time of year, it makes it harder for us and anything else that’s outside to get enough time to practice”.

Schiffler continues by saying that he tends to leave for school at around 8 a.m. and that he typically gets home around 7:30-7:45 p.m. because of band rehearsals and practices. 

FHS also decided to change its parking policy which only allows seniors with a designated spot to be able to park inside of the parking lot because of limited spaces.

“I feel like the seniors completely have the advantage and for the juniors we have a [much] longer way to walk,” Whittaker said. “I could leave my house much later, but I can’t because I want to get a spot closer to the school.” 

Even though the good may not outweigh the bad, positive changes have been made too. Traffic has reduced in the mornings and afternoons, students are able to sleep in longer, and more time is given to students and staff throughout the day to relax.