Leander High School's online student-run newspaper

The Roar

Leander High School's online student-run newspaper

The Roar

Leander High School's online student-run newspaper

The Roar

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Lower electric bills come at high costs

v  By Claire Toomey  

   Finals after winter break? Really? Do people seriously expect us to study on our days off? Who came up with this?

   Starting last year our school schedule was majorly reconstructed. School starts later in August, first semester doesn’t come to an end until after winter break, and second semester doesn’t end until June. This year is somewhat better than last because we have a week of review after we come back before finals opposed to the two days allotted last year. But, students are still not in favor of this alteration.

   It is understood that we are supposed to embrace any education we have as an opportunity to learn and most of the time that happens, but that doesn’t give incentive to sit down and spend two weeks of winter break studying for tests. We also realize that if we were to have finals before winter break we would have to rush and cram in a whole semester of material in two weeks less than we would have normally. But it still doesn’t make sense. It would be much better to continue learning at a fast pace and actually feel like we have a break when we get off of school. Knowing finals are awaiting our arrival when we come back just changes the whole spirit of having two weeks off. Why do we have to start school later? It seems to me that the schedule has only caused more stress rather than relieve problems.

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   One argument behind this state mandated change is that very large sums of money can be saved if we start school later in August and end in the first week of June. As August is the hottest month of the year in Texas, air conditioning bills are through the roof. By taking out two weeks in August and moving them to the end of the school year in the end of May/beginning of June, millions of dollars will be saved. But should the cost of lowering electric bills come at the cost of hindering our education? We think not!

   Students just don’t understand the driving force behind this change. It’s not like final grades are benefiting from this. Honestly it’s just a little difficult for everyone to stop in the middle of a six weeks, have a two week break, and then come back like we didn’t miss a day of school. Then to top it off, we are expected to take a test over a whole semester that should have ended before the break even started. It just doesn’t make sense. The school schedule should have never been changed.

            Because it is a state mandated change, the districts’ hands are tied because we have to go by what the state says as far as the date we start school. But, the district does control the semester schedule. Basically this is a plea to the district administration to make our semesters more practical. Can we cut a few days off thanksgiving break or something? People would be content if we went back to having three days off for thanksgiving if it meant being able to have finals at a logical time. A few districts were able to have finals before winter break; Austin ISD was able to. Therefore, it is possible, and we should be able to find a way to make our schedule more accommodating for students.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • M

    Madame CurticeMar 11, 2009 at 9:45 am

    Well presented Claire. I believe many teachers agree with you/!

  • L

    Laura PharrFeb 6, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    The State Legislators were influenced by the tourism lobbiest, primarily backed by Sea World. It was to allow them to have additional weeks in the summer(August), when school age kids could still go to Sea World and contribute to the tourism industry.

    Realize that even though students aren’t in school the utility bills are still adding up. The schools are open all summer. Administrative staff only has two weeks off during the summer, so there are only two weeks everything would be shut down. The schools are full of people, almost all summer long.

  • B

    Bill CaseyJan 29, 2009 at 1:30 pm

    In reference to starting the school year later was due mostly because of what is refered to as the “Six Flags” rule. By starting school earlier it hurt the profits of the Six Flags type of the tourist industry. Not only did they lose customers but also workers who had to return to public education. The legislature may say to save energy but the bottom line is the lobyist for the amusement parks was very strong and had a great deal of money behind it.

  • M

    MelindaJan 28, 2009 at 5:11 pm

    well i kinda like having a week off for thanksgiving. plus we aren’t saving air conditioning costs because it is just as hot in May/June then in August.