The Roaring Times

Should the semester end after or before winter break?

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For both students and staff, school can sometimes put a lot of pressure on their daily lives. The only real escape besides the occasional holiday off or extended weekend are on week-long vacations, specifically winter break.

But when we come back, we still have to deal with the end of semester, which, of course, means the dreaded final exams and projects of the semester.

However, starting with the next school year, the district calendar will be changed so that the end of the semester will instead take place before winter break.

“Change can be difficult, and this a big change of all of us on campus,” said Principal Steven Ybarra. “For as long as I’ve worked in this district, we’ve followed a calendar where the semester ends after winter break. We come back from winter break, and we, both students and staff alike, have two weeks to gear up for finals.”

It’s a favorable change, since we’d be able to enjoy our break to its full extent, and we’d have less to worry about for when we come back. Students don’t have to worry about maintaining semester grades, and teachers don’t have to worry about finalizing them.

Having a long relaxing break from school only to come back and work really hard for two weeks to prepare for finals seems a bit counter-intuitive. How can students perform at their best on finals, when they’ve been gone from school for a whole two weeks?

Many staff members seem to believe that having the end of semester before winter break is also a good change for the district.

“I think that winter break should be after the end of the semester. When they’d take their finals, the material would be fresh on their minds, and they’d be able to give it their best,” said Assistant Principal Lindsey Rosa.

“I think the end of the semester should take place before winter break. I’m in favor of starting school early August and ending school late May, even though we’re going to miss a couple of weeks of summer vacation,” said statistics teacher Bill Probst.

“For continuity’s sake, it’s nice to have the semester done with before we go into winter break,” said ceramics teacher Elizabeth Waddell.

Of course, seniors would’ve probably appreciated the change before, now that it won’t affect them at all since they’ll be graduating before the calendar change. Nonetheless, it’s nice to see a small change  that will hopefully benefit students.

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The student news site of Arlington High School
Should the semester end after or before winter break?