FHPS could potentially be looking at a huge calendar change

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Recently, Superintendent Dan Behm sent out a survey that could change the way our entire school system works.

The two question survey was attached to an email that provided the information that enlightened staff members that our district is considering a major calendar change. Our school system, along with others, are considering the option to start school two weeks earlier in the year, prior to Labor Day. This would allow the entire first semester to conclude before the winter break in December. This also means that all exams would wrap up before the winter break, allowing all students to begins the second semester directly after break with a new start. A new start for the new year would take away the stress students endure over break when they have exams looming over them, taking away the idea of a stress-free break.

Not only would exams conclude before break, but the winter break would return to its original full two weeks.

“I would be very happy to have a full two weeks so I can take a break from school work and get myself motivated again. School is hard,” sophomore Will Clancy said.

This break would allow students to spend time with friends and family without the worry of homework looming over their head, only to be looked at the day before they go back to school. Without this homework, students and teachers alike would truly be able to de-stress since the first semester would have already ended, and the second will not yet have begun.

A fear many teachers have is the lack of time in the first semester, potentially altering their plans. However, this may not be the case.

“The thinking is that with mandatory spring testing (M-STEP, SAT, etc.) and the likelihood of snow days in January and February, the instructional time between first and second semester will be close to balanced,” Behm said in the email he sent to staff.

What he meant was that while things may be shifted around, everything would be roughly the same but with different dates for different lesson plans.

“I think this will help so students don’t have a break before review time,” said Carlos Silvestre, and FHC Spanish teacher.

Silvestre isn’t afraid of things switching around. He believes that as long as we we are starting a few weeks earlier, it should all even out, and he feels that when kids go on break just before exams, it has a negative effect on their ability to get back on track just before exams.

While this all sounds fantastic in theory, everything is still up in the air. The survey that was sent out is still just a survey, and the district has to confer with educators, along with parents and families of students that attend FHC. Their opinions matter, and it is important to listen to what the vast majority of the district thinks before any decisions are made. Although the district wants to hear all opinions, they want to get a decision out as soon as possible.

“If we do elect to start school prior to Labor Day, I think it is important that we decide this prior to April so that we provide all of our families, students, and staff with as much notice as possible,” Behm said.

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