Changes in the school calendar

By Erica Walker
LEESBURG, VA- The Loudoun County School Board, on October 12, 2010, made the decision to start school next year before Labor Day weekend; instead of going back to school in September, students will be going to school starting August 28, 2011. Also, students will be getting out of school June 8th as opposed to the second week of June. Why, you may ask? Board member Tom Marshall has the answer, “We need to have more time for students in school to get as much academic training required to be prepared for the state tests in May.”
Several students at Tuscarora High School believe that this change will not make a huge impact on students. Mrs. Gueits, a Spanish II and AP Spanish teacher at the school completely agrees. “I don’t believe it will reflect negativity towards our students,” she explains. “Here at Tuscarora High School, we have a professional, well-prepared staff that is doing an excellent job with the students.” Ms. Smingler, a biology teacher and the Tuscarora Freshman Volleyball coach, believes that some students’ “vacation plans will have to change, but the students should have plenty of time to decompress and relax over the summer break.” She also feels that as a coach —since her summer is shorter—this summer will feel short. “But in the long run, I think we’ll enjoy the shift of getting out earlier for the following year,” she clarifies. Olivia Corso, a THS 9th grader concurs. She thinks that students this year may be upset about it at first, “but after this year, everyone will be fine.”
Students may be wondering how teachers will be affected by the change. Ms. Smingler stated that teachers, just like students, enjoy relaxing over vacation, and she thinks summer will “fly by for us as well.” Olivia’s take on it is “I don’t think it’ll affect the teachers either. The school year is still the same length. It doesn’t change that much. I mean, it may be inconvenient for [teachers] this year, but it’ll all start to even out after this year.” The inconvenience for teachers is that they have to go in earlier than students do because they need to plan their teaching methods before students return to school. “I think that even though our summer’s going to be shorter, the advantage is that next year summer will start earlier,” adds Mrs. Guiets.