New school year schedule raises concern


By Nora Holland and Fatima Yazdi

After Governor Larry Hogan denied the MCPS Board of Education’s (BOE) request to start school before Labor Day, a new school schedule for the 2017-2018 school year was put into action, which has raised many questions and concerns since the school year began.

The BOE met last Feb. and decided to adopt a new schedule for the 2017-2018 school year. This schedule includes fewer instructional days and a longer summer, with school starting after Labor Day Sept. 5. There are now 182 school days, which would be two fewer days than in previous years.

Of course, some students at CHS have enjoyed the extension and felt it was a positive change.

“I liked the change since it gave [CHS students] more time for summer vacationing and fewer educational days,” sophomore Jenna Kuperschmid said.

Although students enjoy a longer summer, not everyone supports the new schedule and all the changes that came with it.

According to sophomore Lauren Kuo, she enjoyed the extra week of summer relaxation but she doesn’t support the decision because she feels that the teachers will now cram that missed work into the first week of school, causing students to be overwhelmed.

Not only does the new calendar lengthen summer by ending school  June 12 and starting after Labor Day, but it also impacts teacher planning time and increases the number of professional days for teachers.

“[Teachers] got some extra days at the beginning of the year, but we lose grading and planning time during the school year,” English teacher Shelley Perrett said. “We usually get teacher work days between quarters to prepare, but unfortunately, we no longer get those.”

A longer summer vacation may sound like music to the ears of students, but for some teachers it makes the school year a little more stressful.

Some of the AP teachers are nervous about less time to prepare, but the College Board moved the AP tests back a week,” Perrett said.

However, moving AP tests back a week forces them to collide with prom in May. This poses as another problem in the new schedule; students may get an extra few days of summer, but this also means those taking AP classes may have to juggle studying for their AP tests with their prom plans.

Additionally, starting the school year a week later also affects sports schedules. According to AP NSL teacher Paul Jacobson, the ater start messed up the whole sports schedule because the first football game was before the start of school..It also made pre-season extremely long.

For many athletes, school starting a week later means an extra week they get to practice before the season begins.

“I think the extra time is very beneficial; it prepares us more for the season,” sophomore Junior Varsity Volleyball player Julie Alves said.“We have an extra week to prepare as a team.”

According to the 2017-2018 MCPS school year Frequently Asked Questions, MCPS plans to immediately begin discussing the 2018-2019 school year calendar. This calendar will have to take into consideration election days unlike this year’s calendar, so there is likely to be even more changes to the next school year.

So far the new schedule has come with both positives and negatives, but only time will tell how it will truly impact the students and staff of CHS.