Modify the school calendar for students

Opinion: Starting school earlier would benefit high school athletes and AP testing.

Written by JEFFREY LI, Director of Circulation / Published September 13, 2013 

Last June, Temple City High School students faced a great dilemma: school ended too late. By the last day of school, June 20th, we had missed experiences of summer schools and internships that had already begun. We had to watch as our neighbors from Arcadia, San Gabriel, and Pasadena enjoyed the full benefits of summer weeks before us as we finished projects and studied for finals.

Our district’s schedule caused us enough trouble in June, but now in August, we are seeing its aftershocks. Athletic programs, such as the football and tennis teams, have been forced to begin their practices early in order to meet the regional leagues’ deadlines.

Senior Sophie Ho is upset with how this affects her teammates and herself on the girls’ tennis team.

“Because of TCHS’ late start, our tennis team could merely arrange one pre-season practice prior to our first game, which falls on the day before school begins,” says Ho. “Although I believe it is not something that will greatly hinder our performance during season, unfortunately, we were unable to integrate the ideal amount of practice needed for a well-prepared team.”

Another problem with our current calendar is that it is not aligned with the Advanced Placement testing schedule. Since all tests are administered in late May, schools that begin early have more time to prepare their students while schools that begin late have to do more with less.

Currently, the decision lies in the hands of the teacher’s union, CSEA 823 and 105, among other groups in the calendar committee. Most of the opposition to an early start concerns the effects on elementary students, who would not be able to have recess because of the warm August weather, and the conflict with parent schedules.

Regardless, this issue continues to be a prominent topic for the school district.

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