Loudoun County Public Schools on Thursday announced sweeping changes to school start and end times throughout the division, with some elementary schools' beginning instruction as early as 7:30 a.m. according to an afternoon press release.
The changes establish five tiers in start times for LCPS schools. A complete breakdown of the new schools' start times can be found on the school division's website.
"Making these schedule changes also will address a bus driver shortage by cutting the number of second runs to schools significantly. It also will result in fewer delays and a more reliable schedule for students and their families," school officials said in the statement.
Administrators said in the statement that the LCPS Transportation Division's routing team had examined the proximity of various schools to each other, as well as the size of the area being served and traffic patterns to determine the new start and end times.
Twenty-eight elementary schools in the division will shift start and end times ahead by approximately 20 minutes, beginning at 7:30 a.m. instead of 7:50 a.m. These schools will dismiss students at 2:15 p.m. Waxpool Elementary School will begin and end the instruction day 45 minutes earlier, to match these schools' schedules.
Thirty elementary schools will begin the school day at 8 a.m. instead of 7:50 a.m., and end at 2:45 p.m. Balls Bluff and Leesburg elementary schools will begin and end their days 15 minutes earlier, to coincide with other schools on this schedule.
School officials said they would be coordinating with the Loudoun County Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department, which oversees CASA and YAZ programs to make sure after-school care is not affected by the new schedules.
LCPS also said it would coordinate with the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office to make sure students who have to walk to their bus stops in the dark during winter months have a crossing guard.
Four middle schools will start at 8:30 a.m. and ending at 3:18 p.m.
- J. Lupton Simpson
Seven middle schools will shift their hours from 8:50 a.m. to 3:38 p.m., amounting to a time shift of 10 to 20 minutes later. Smart's Mill Middle School is an exception, beginning five minutes earlier.
- Belmont Ridge
- Eagle Ridge
- J. Michael Lunsford
- River Bend
- Smart's Mill
- Stone Hill
All 17 LCPS high schools will hold instruction from 9:30 a.m. to 4:18 p.m. For Loudoun Valley and Woodgrove high schools, the new schedule begins and ends 20 minutes later, while the remaining 15 high schools are pushed back 15 minutes.
The start times of athletic events should be able to remain the same, school officials said. Some students may need to be transported directly to the game or, in rare instances, start times may need to be adjusted depending on the distance between the game and the home high school.
The Academies of Loudoun will offer instruction from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., beginning and ending the day 15 minutes later.
The North Star School will start and end 10 minutes later, running from 9:50 a.m. to 4 p.m.
William Obediah Robey High School will not change its hours, operating from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and from 1:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.