Finals should be before winter break

Delainey Willing, Staff Writer

As Christmas break nears once again, the fear of finals lingers in the back of students’ minds.

Having finals a mere two weeks after Christmas break is not only annoying, but frustrating and inconvenient. This causes many students to study during their two-week break.

Many students bend themselves over textbooks attempting to cram any knowledge into their brains that might help them prepare for finals.

Christmas break is supposed to be a time for us to kick back and relax, not fret about what finals could end up doing to our grades. Our break has turned into extra time to study and cram for these tests.

For many students the stress in unbelievable. Just knowing the simple fact that the final could be the difference between a passing and failing grade is enough to push anyone over the edge.

Cal High has kept the same old schedule for way too long. It’s about time for a change that benefits everyone.

One way we could change our finals schedule would be to follow Glendore High School’s example. The Los Angeles school takes finals before break and starts the new semester immediately after Christmas break ends.

Modesto School District in the Central Valley adopted a similar schedule two years ago that starts classes in early August and ends in May. With this adjusted schedule, finals take place before a three-week Christmas break.

Grace M. Davis High in Modesto uses this schedule with a positive outcome. After three weeks of break the students and teachers come back to school feeling refreshed and invigorated.

Although the system has only been in place for a few years, Davis has seen a dramatic increase in test scores for finals, says English teacher Chris Malekos-Quick.  She said students are more willing to put time and effort into their studies without feeling so burnt out.

Having a three-week vacation would also allow students to spend more quality time with their families. Many families go away on vacation while students are left out of activities because of preparing for finals.

Being able to take finals before going on break is obviously the better option. Sure, it would mean starting the school year sooner, but it also  allows students to hit the pavement running into the second semester.

No one wants the pressure and unneeded stress put on students by studying over break.  Plus, such this schedule would support the district policy that encourages teachers to not give homework over breaks.