Some Parents Angry Over Bell Schedule Changes
A meeting with a school board member Monday aims to answer questions, address concerns
School officials say recently approved changes to its 2012-2013 bell schedule are necessary to accommodate 4,000 more students and three new elementary schools in Fairfax this fall, but some parents are taking issue with what they call a significant change in their family's quality of life, particularly for working parents who need to see their children off to school and still get to work on time.
Come September, the system will welcome the first of what it says are several large increases in student growth, along with the opening of Mason Crest Elementary School in Annandale, Graham Road Elementary School in Falls Church and South County Middle School in Lorton.
The shift will change more than 60 schools' schedules across the elementary, middle and high school levels.
For a full list of schools affected, click here.
Some schools will shift as little as 20 minutes. But others could see changes as large as 40 minutes, which will significantly affect the daily lives of students and their families, opponents say.
"With this time difference, many parents, some of whom travel from places as far as Clifton and South County districts will be unable to maintain their jobs requiring them to arrive to work by 9 a.m.," one parent wrote to Patch. "And parents who have children at our local high school may have to wait over two hours to drop their children off at elementary school and high school."
Some parents say they've received little information about the change, until they requested a town hall meeting scheduled for Monday.
Braddock District School Board representative Megan McLaughlin will meet with a group of parents on Monday at 7:30 p.m. in the Laurel Ridge Elementary School cafeteria to address the bell schedule changes. The meeting is open to the public.
"Although 20 minutes does not seem like a drastic difference, it will certainly change the quality of life for many families and most importantly, our children," the parent wrote.