As of this year, the fall semester will be ending on December 20 for the High School and Middle School. After elongated discussions on how to fix the problem of uneven semesters and awkwardly-spaced quarters, teachers, faculty, and the Director of Curriculum and Instruction Roberto d’Erizans, have decided that the end of the semster will be moved so that it precede s winter break, which will begin on December 21.
Principal Paul Richards said that the change has been made to stop the stress caused by impendng exams over the December break. “Bottom line… it’s a smoother transition from one semester to the other,” he said.
Though this change has been intended to benefit both teachers and students, there are differing opinions on the topic. One very enthusiastic student, André Purits (’15) said, “That’s good. So good – it’s excellent! We don’t have to worry about tests while we enjoy our holidays.” And though that view seems to be the popular one, there are some students that find the change to be an unwelcome one; Sayer Devlin (’16) disagreed with the move. “There is less time to study for the challenging tests,” he said.
This change in schedule will not only have a considerable impact in the timing of midterm tests, but also first semester electives. Ishan Guha (‘13) said that this will just elongate his second semester classes, which is not a big change, but that it could mean an extra workload for those taking one semester classes in the fall. “they [the students taking one semester classes] will have to work harder in the first semester to cover the same amount of material,” he said.
Though the student body is somewhat divided on this issue, teachers and faculty all appear to agree that the change will be beneficial to the school. They concur with d’Erizans who said that the switch was meant to make the midterms easier, because, despite students having less time to study, there is no break in between the lessons and the testing. He explained that the change will be beneficial to teachers as well; the semesters will now be more evenly balanced and will not provide as large a rush as the one that has been felt by both students and teachers of previous years during the end of the first semester.