This month, the GlendaleTeachers Association and the GUSD Board of Education are going through the process of approving a new school calendar which has school beginning on Aug. 12 and ending on May 27 for the 2013-14 year.
If approved, underclassmen would reap benefits.
First, fall semester would finish in December before winter break.There would no longer be a three-week gap between instruction and finals. Students would finally enjoy a free vacation—one without homework or worrying about upcoming finals.
Moreover, it would make studying for finals much easier. We have all been there: it is the weekend before finals, and we are all at home desperately cramming to remember things we learned way back in October. It makes no sense to test students on material three months after it was taught— especially when part of those three months was a three-week break.
The schedule would be most beneficial for AP students. Starting school in mid- August would allow them to spend more instructional time preparing for AP Exams in May. Most teachers would agree that the time spent preparing for those exams is crucial to making sure students pass.
There are downsides to the new schedule, though. First, students who plan to take trips during August would have to change their plans. But their first priority is being students, not tourists. And while students will have one less week to complete summer assignments, the time would be made up with the extra preparation for the AP exams.
Lastly, since it would cut down on vacation time for students taking summer school classes, it would give them an incentive to work harder during the school year.
The proposed calendar has already proven beneficial to schools in Burbank. And while the school year would remain 180 days, the schedule, if approved, would be more beneficial for students.