Head of School Jeanne Huybrechts said that school will start and end one week earlier.
Is the new schedule cleaner? Probably: it frontloads the schedule so that we have more teaching days for AP classes and it virtually eliminates the post-AP exams academic purgatory that leaves so many students drifting aimlessly around in May.
However, cleaning up the schedule a little bit does not justify inconveniencing every student.Â The eight extra days seem like too small a benefit from a schedule change that will have so many problems.
Having midterm exams two weeks after returning from winter break already cast a shadow over the break for most students; having only three days of review after break and diving immediately into midterm exams will transform break from a period of rest to a period of study. This is unfair and completely unnecessary.
Huybrechts said she proposed having midterm exams before winter break but that teachers opposed that. She said that teachers thought having exams before the break would rob students of the fun they have before leaving for winter break. What apparently was not considered is that having midterms three days after break will rob students of the fun and relaxation they are entitled to during the actual vacation.
Midterms should be before the break, especially once semester break is eliminated. The administration should not leave students in the lurch with no respite from the hard work they do during the year. The promise of a renewing winter break was something that got students through the year. The administration should not take that away from them.
For seniors, the situation is even more unfortunate. Most college applications are due January 1.
It is wildly unfair to make seniors choose between studying for midterms and finishing their college applications. It is outrageous to force this exercise in time management upon students, especially at a school like this, where both grades and college are of such paramount importance.
The schedule is also unfair to athletes who will have to come back earlier in the summer when the valley is extremely hot. The schedule change seems like a recipe for disaster for the football players who would have to go through hell week in the middle of August.
Some spring athletes, like varsity golfers, may have to compete in tournaments for weeks after graduation.
On the whole, the schedule change seems unnecessary. It will be an unjustifiable burden to everyone in the school.