Shift Moves Finals ahead of Winter Break

Alex Bonardi and Kylie Choi

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For the 1st time, the school year has been shifted forward so that final exams will take place prior to the winter break.  The move by the Acalanes Union High School District has resulted in an early start to the semester and a shorter summer break.

“I definitely felt that this summer went by really fast, but I like the reasoning behind it, ’cause I like how we’re going to have finals before winter break this year,” said sophomore Sarah Tallarico. “We won’t have the stress over winter break that we usually have.”

Junior Robert Wang agreed that the pros outweigh the cons in the sense that finals will be “less stressful.”  “We won’t have anything to study for” during winter break,” he said.

Senior Brynn Cummins added, “I think it will be less stressful because we won’t have a 2-week break from doing no homework and stuff, and then have to come back and get back in the groove of things and then take your finals. So I think taking finals before break is better.”

Cummins also said that the shorter summer didn’t affect her at all. “By the end of summer, [I] was waiting for school to start. It also had to do with me being a senior and I was just excited for my senior year.”

A concern for some was that the 1st semester will be 8 school days shorter than the 2nd. English teacher Nathan Ward was disappointed that he had to rearrange his teaching plans in order to fit the new schedule, dropping a unit in the process.

Ward also predicts that test scores will not increase. “I don’t anticipate there being really any difference whatsoever between having exams before winter break or when they were before [after],” he said.

However, math teacher Jennifer Frugaletti, who teaches the semester-long Intro to Computer Science class, said that her curriculum barely changed, and things are still on schedule. “It didn’t affect it,” she said.

Frugaletti thinks that the schedule change “is gonna be a really good thing” because it will be easier to just “get all of your finals out of the way” and “break is going to be much more restful” for her students.

“You come back and start fresh. So I’m really looking forward to it,” said Frugaletti.

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