Students finally getting a real winter break?

October 4, 2010 — by Lillian Chen and Nandini Ruparel

The school board is on its way to deciding whether the school should have finals before or after winter break for the school year of 2011-2012, according to school officials.

“There is a great momentum to [have finals before break],” said assistant Brian Safine. The school board decided to distribute a survey last December and discovered much support for the plan, according to the district website.
For many students, having finals and then a break to relax would be beneficial, allowing them to have some time off before second semester starts.

“It would be really nice for students and teachers to be done in December with a real break,” said principal Jeff Anderson. “Both students and teachers could start fresh after the December break. This is something we can control that can help with students’ stress.”

Many students also prefer having finals in December.

“I think it’s good that we would get to actually relax during our winter break. We won’t have to stress over studying for finals, and we can go on vacation being relaxed,” said junior Rachel Le.

Many schools around the Bay Area follow a schedule of having finals before winter break. A high school in San Rafael has already been following this schedule for the past four years.

“Personally, [I think] students could decompress and re-energize,” said Safine, who supports the proposition. There is a lot of support for the measure although it has not been put in place yet. However, Safine still feels that there is hope for this year.

However, having finals before winter would also mean starting school earlier in August. In the transitional year, it would mean having a shorter summer. After a shortened summer, however, summer vacations would return to normal lengths. Under the new school calendar, the school would end on June 7 as opposed to the traditional mid-June end date.

“There are also plentiful examinations and events going on before winter break due to Christmas time,” said Anderson. “I’ve talked to a lot of different principals, and no one had said anything bad but rather that it was great for teachers and students so they could de-stress.”

Final board approval for a calendar will come later this year.

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