New School Calendar Still a Possibility

By Athena E. Hilentzaris

Since the beginning of  the 2012-2013 school year, students and teachers have been referring to an early start date for the following school year. Assistant principal Kendall Griffin said, however, it’s only a possibility that might be applied to the 2014-2015 calendar.

“It’s something that has been mentioned among the board, but no decisions have been made,” Griffin said.

However, a layout of the schedule has been created. School is planned to start in the second or third week of August, which would allow for the final exams to be taken before winter break, and for summer break to start earlier as well. Moreover, AP exam dates and ACT are set, so the earlier schedule will provide students with more time to study for their tests.

“I’m thinking that everything will be pushed forward two or three weeks, depending on the dates of winter break,” said student government member Lyba Zia. “[AP students] will have two extra weeks of learning the material for their AP exams. ACT is a big deal for juniors, too, so having two extra weeks before they have to take the ACT might help some students’ performance.”

Having the extra time for exams sounds great for a lot of students, but others said they don’t like the set of the dates.

“I like [the new schedule], because I don’t have to worry about studying during [winter] break [for the finals exams],” said sophomore Ashleigh Aybar.

“I don’t agree with the schedule, because you don’t get to enjoy the whole season of summer,” said sophomore Yiannis Papasotiriou. “May is still cold here in Chicago, and we’ll miss the warm weather of August.”

Some parents said they support the new schedule.

“My son is in football and trains every day, and then he can’t relax during his winter break because he has to study for the finals. [The new schedule] will allow him to take that break he really needs,” said Nareen Mando, who has a freshman and senior at West.

Some teachers said they have concerns about the calendar change.

“There are too many ramifications,” said English teacher Sharon Swanson. “People who teach here who don’t live in the district will have to rearrange their childcare schedule and take care of their children. I like the semester ending before break, but if it has to necessitate to that, then no. If their kids’ schools are on different schedules, what are they supposed to do?”

The next Town Hall meeting will take place on Thursday,  Nov. 8,  at Niles North at 7:00 p.m. where more details will be covered about the new schedule.