There will be no sleeping late for high school students in Reston this fall.
That order came last week from the Fairfax Public School System which is scheduling 2,600 intermediate and high school students for school in split shifts beginning in September.
The change is the result of construction running two months behind schedule at the new Langston Hughes Intermediate School located next to the high school. At the rate work is progresing, the new facility will not be ready before Nov. 1.
High school students will begin classes at South Lakes High School at 7 a.m. and finish at 12:15 p.m. By 12:30, intermediate school students will be in their places until classes end at 5:30 p.m.
All high school students will be bused to school in the morning -- because of darkness. Intermediate students will be provided transportation home after school.
Some angry parents began calling school offices last week to protest the schedule, both the early morning hours for high school students and the late closing for intermediate students. Other parents complained to school officials that they have children in both shifts.
John Krytusa, of the school system's construction office, blames the weather, a shortage of workers and design modifications for the delays.
"A number of things contributed to the slowdown," he said. "The work is now about 75 percent done. It is all under roof at this point."
Bill Robertson, principal of the 12th grade subschool at South Lakes, said earlier this week that the school office had received no complaints about the double shift, "but the final notices just went out yesterday (Monday). . . ."
When asked why the double shift is necessary, since students at the two schools were adequately housed in the same building last year, Robertson pointed out that this is the first year South Lakes High School will have a senior class -- an additional 500 students.
Until this year, 12th-graders attended other county schools.
Robertson also says the adminstration will make every effort to ensure that students are given a full complement of extracurricular activities.
"All of our planned activities will go on as scheduled," Robertson said.