What About Kelly & Ed?


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What About Kelly and Ed?

Kelly is a high-school sophomore. Like 70% of FCPS students, she participates in an extra-curricular activity: she plays trumpet in the jazz band. Like 40% of FCPS students, she plays at least one sport. She’s on the field hockey team in the fall, and lacrosse in the spring. Like a lot of FCPS students, Kelly wants to go to college, so she works hard in her classes and attends as many review sessions as she can. Several of her teachers hold regular after-school study sessions.

In the current schedule, Kelly arrives at school at 7:00 am and her first class is at 7:20. After school, she either goes to a history study session from 2:30-3:30 or her jazz band rehearsal. Then she goes to either field hockey or lacrosse practice. Like most FCPS students, Kelly has a long, 12-hour day.

In the new schedule, Kelly’s history study session is held before school, so she still has to arrive at school by 7:30. Kelly used to catch the bus, but now her dad has to drive her. He leaves for work a half-hour earlier, so he can get Kelly to school on time. After school, Kelly goes directly to field hockey or lacrosse. She had to drop jazz band, because they rehearse right after school.

Under the new proposal:

  • Kelly doesn’t get extra sleep on days when she has study sessions (or any other activity that’s been scheduled before the school day). Perhaps worse, contrary to advice from sleep experts, she now doesn’t have a consistent sleep schedule; some days she gets up early, other days she can sleep an hour later.
  • Her dad now drives her to school twice a week, leaving for work thirty minutes earlier than he used to. Both her parents are more than willing to change their schedules to make sure she gets to school early, but, work commitments sometimes make that impossible. Kelly doesn’t attend as many review and help sessions as she used to.
  • Kelly is still away from home 12 hours a day.
  • She’s dropped jazz band.


Ed is a high-school freshman. Unlike most FCPS students, Ed doesn’t have an after-school activity. He does stay after school to attend SOL review sessions when he can, but mostly he has to be home by 3:30 so he can watch his brother, who’s in third grade. Since both his parents work, he’s responsible for his brother until his parents arrive home around 6:30pm. When he stays after school and takes the late bus home, a neighbor who’s also a high-school student watches the younger brother until Ed arrives home. His parents pay the neighbor the going rate for babysitters.

Under the new proposal:

  • Ed’s parents need him to wake up early to get his brother ready for school, so he doesn’t get any more sleep in the morning.
  • In the afternoons, the younger sibling arrives home an hour earlier than Ed. Since the SACC program at the elementary school is full, Ed’s parents must find another arrangement for the younger brother. No neighborhood high-school students are available, so Ed’s family ends up paying a day-care provider at a much higher rate than a local babysitter.

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