New school schedule creates hope for schedule changes in the future


AJ Grainger

The old school schedule (left) with all of the classes in one day side to side with the online learning schedule (right) that MCPS just implemented for this school year

This fall, MCPS decided to have online classes start at 9 a.m. withWednesday designated to homework and teacher help. Students are enjoying the later start time and want it to stay. Should MCPS keep the same schedule when school goes back to normal?

As nice as it would be to have school normally start at 9 a.m. and end at 2:40 p.m., it seems like it would be impractical. Schools should not keep the current schedule forever because of transportation and the lack of learning time.

Since elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools all start at 9 a.m., that would mean that MCPS would need to triple the number of buses to transport all of the students to the schools.

Before Covid, MCPS was able to transport kids from different schools because elementary, middle and high schools all started at different times, allowing bus drivers to pick up three different groups of kids. MCPS cannot afford to hire a lot more bus drivers, and if they find a way to hire them, it will likely cut lots of programs out of their budget.

In addition, MCPS can’t make the three types of schools open at different times past 9 a.m. because that would lead to other problems like kids getting out of school way too late.

Junior Bradley Luts wishes that school could always start at 9 a.m., but doesn’t think that MCPS would be able to pull it off. “ I would love for school to start later than it normally does but I don’t think that MCPS could find a way to make it work,” Luts said.

The other reason it is unlikely that MCPS could keep on opening schools later is because students would not get to see all their teachers as much as they normally do. On the old school schedule, students would see all of their teachers every day for 45 minutes. With the new school schedule students get to see their teachers two times a week for an hour each time.

Many students want MCPS to return to the normal schedule because they like meeting with all of their classes every day.
Sophomore Ryan Kunsts would rather have the normal schedule instead of the online learning schedule. “I want MCPS to stick with the normal schedule because I think that not having classes every day is not helpful for students who are trying to get good grades,” Kunsts said.

Junior Shahin Baghai Vaji also prefers the old school schedule over the online schedule. “I would rather have the normal schedule because I prefer meeting with all of my classes every day instead of going to each of my classes two times a week,” Baghai Vaji said.

If schools keep the same schedule when students return to regular instruction, students will not learn as well as they normally do, leading to worse grades and a weak understanding of the subjects. In order to make up for the instructional time they are losing, teachers keeping the current schedule might consider giving their students a lot of homework to keep on pace with the curriculum, putting lots of stress and anxiety on students.

If MCPS could find a way to open schools later and keep everything else intact, then I’m sure that almost everybody would be fine with it, but it is just too difficult for them to pull it off.