By: Alex Kersh
It has been a couple weeks since Howard County’s latest round of schedule changes have altered school start times in a final attempt to alleviate county-wide busing concerns.
While Glenelg was largely spared some of the major issues, all students and staff still had to adjust to the later arrival and departure times.
For many adults in the building, this change actually did not have a huge effect, due to their previously established routine of waking up early for the school day.
“Honestly, the overall impact upon my commute has been minimal,” said English teacher Jeff Shear. “It’s usually my practice to arrive early, so I haven’t had to alter my patterns much.”
And some teachers, like Laura Land who teaches Spanish, said they enjoyed the schedule changes, which have provided more time to accomplish tasks in their early mornings.
“Despite the school schedule changing, I've maintained my habit of waking up at 4:30 a.m.,” said Land. “Thanks to this time adjustment, I've been able to incorporate a 30-minute workout into my morning routine.”
Teachers weren’t the only ones affected by the board’s decision. For many bus riders, the schedule changes meant that they were able to achieve adequate sleep before the bus arrived.
Junior bus rider Vishwa Datta said, “Before the change I would never ride the bus, but now I occasionally do since I have enough energy to wake up early enough to catch it.”
People seemed to enjoy the schedule changes, as they were able to either sleep for longer or enjoy their early mornings.
But Glenelg students and staff found themselves having to readjust to a 10-minute earlier start time nearly a month into the school year, as the county faced criticism due to a bus driver shortage.
Students had mixed feelings. Some just did not care for the changes; to them, it was only ten minutes. But for others, this change was more than just 10 less minutes of slumber.
“When the first schedule came out the routine occurred and I got accustomed to it, but then they changed it once again and even though it was only 10 minutes it still threw me off,” said junior Daniel Agarunov. “I woke up ten minutes late and had to skip breakfast for a few days because I just wasn't used to the mornings.”
Agarunov, along with others, was not affected by the amount of time lost, but the new routines they had just adjusted to. Some students were not angry at the recent changes, but instead disappointed in how the county executed this change so suddenly.
Many teachers have also seen this sudden change as wrongfully executed.
“I believed that the initial implementation of their new schedule was going to have a positive impact,” Land added. However, with the recent changes and transportation issues, I feel like we have returned to square one.”
Overall, many teachers and students have felt that the schedule changes were a worthwhile concept, but faulty execution and hassles created due to bussing issues didn't sit well with some.
“Ultimately, I think that it was an ineffectual decision,” Shear said. “It’s just enough of a change to inconvenience some people, but not enough of one to actually benefit the majority.”
Many students may have been affected differently. Some have enjoyed benefits, experienced drawbacks, or just genuinely don't care. However, one thing seems certain: these changes caused a way bigger impact than anyone thought it would.