Terrible Traffic Tuesday: Start times change for Fairfax County students

They call it Terrible Traffic Tuesday, and it's coming soon to Fairfax County. Public schools will be back in session Tuesday, and lots of changes to schedules could make this year's return to class even more "terrible" than usual.

Fairfax County schools will begin a new bell schedule on Tuesday, and the county's 57,000 high school students now get to sleep in a little longer. The new schedule has middle school students going in earlier, and traffic patterns near many schools are likely to be impacted as a result of all the changes.

The new start times are as follows:
Middle schools - 7:30 a.m.
High schools - 8-8:10 a.m.
Elementary schools - 8-9:20 a.m.

The widest variation in the new start times is for elementary school students, though school officials say most elementary students will only change their start times by 5 or 10 minutes. Eight schools, however, had to make significant adjustments to accommodate bus routes.

All Fairfax County students will be in school for six hours and 45 minutes every day. The new start times have cost the county about $5 million.