Bus Issues Force Schedule Change


First Block late passes accumulate on a teacher’s desk.

Seamus McPherson and Will Hagaman

“I was hearing the rumors of the bell change throughout the school all day, but it wasn’t until I got home that the news was official,” Ava Hecker (‘23) said.

The 2021-22 year started with an experimental, delayed start for high school, every few weeks a new bell schedule was formulated, debated, and then nothing happened.

The first big change was a surprise: On Sept. 15 at 6 p.m., SCPS administration sent out an email that surprised and shocked students, teachers, and even the school board itself. Acting Superintendent Dr. Stanley Jones pushed back the start time to 9:50 and release time to 3:55.

“I was upset because in CGS we already start school at 7:30, so we would have to be in school for eight hours. I also do other things after school, so the whole reason for changing the schedule for students to get more sleep wouldn’t apply to CGS students.” Ava Hecker stated.

The new plan would have started on Sept. 27., but after community backlash, the school board called an emergency meeting on Sept. 20 and rescinded the plan, sending out another email and social media posts.

“[Parents] want the best for kids, but they also realize that their kids have a life outside of school,” said Holly Hazard, Hartwood District Chairperson, during the Sept. 20 meeting.

They failed to come up with a plan to combat the issues that pushed the bell changes in the first place, mainly late buses, and planned to meet again on Sept. 28 to discuss new schedule possibilities.

Students did not want the proposed schedule at all, stating personal issues with the schedule change as it would affect them when trying to take care of their family or extracurricular activities.

“The schedule this year has not helped my family at all. Both my parents work, so sometimes we don’t know when my sister in elementary school is going to be picked up, and if she rides the bus she might get home when no one else is there. Then after school, I usually have practice so I can’t hurry and get home. ” said Ayden Sorensen (‘25).

“I get home really late, and I don’t have time for practice or homework, so there’s no time at all for anything. [The 3:55 dismissal] is not going to work at all, and I will miss all my other appointments. I’m going to have to cancel them because I don’t have time to go to them.” said McKenzie Kingham, basketball athlete (‘24)

The school board eventually rescinded the 9:50 start time schedule, settling on a new experimental idea which will be tested on the students for four weeks. The test schedule will take effect Oct. 12 through Nov. 5 and the high school start time will be at 9:35 and dismissed at 3:35.