A decision by our district leadership is leaving students with earlier semester finals while taking away a week from our next summer break.
The last week of the 2019 summer will become the first week of school. To make sure that the academic year isn’t longer, we will begin the 2020 summer a week earlier. For all summers after that we will have normal-length breaks.
Basically, we will be losing a week of the summer. Sucks, right? Well, it gets worse.
The schedule changes mess up the symmetry of the semesters, making the second semester longer than the first. Some argue that this is good because it gives AP students more time to study for the AP tests, which begin in the middle of the second semester, while others, including teachers of one-semester classes, believe that this creates more problems than the changes are worth. I agree with the latter group because any of us may end up having to cram more into a week-shorter course.
The worst change, however, is having midterm finals right before the holidays. Some Trojans agree with this decision because it takes out the stress of studying during break, but others hate the change.
Why would anyone want to have two weeks less of studying—two holiday weeks at that? If you don’t want to stress out, don’t study. Granted, it wasn’t the students who chose this- but the district surely had our opinions in mind when it polled the classes last year. In my class most people agreed with the change. The rest of us were left thinking, “why?” Two weeks off to study, to tie off loose ends, to get your clubs’ semester dues done…there are all too many reasons to be thankful for our current schedule.
The effects ripple out from our summer breaks being cut short a week, with that week taken becoming a school week in the first semester.
This messes up the symmetry of the semesters, meaning that the second will be longer than the first.
While that extra week will go to the first semester, the post-holidays week and finals week will become two extra weeks. That extra week will go to the second semester, giving us more time to study for the end-of-year finals (including AP tests!).
Basically we are losing a week of our summer to the academic year and we are keeping our winter break but placing the finals before it, making for a very stressful holiday season and taking away the value in having two weeks off to study for final tests.
Confusing, right? But imagine having to take those stressful fall with two weeks less in study time.
So enjoy what we’ve got now, Trojans. Next year you’ll be rushing to cap off the first semester with a week less in prep time.