Next year’s school calendar brings changes


2012-13 Calendar (3)
The calendar approved by the Alief ISD school board for next year includes two semesters with dramatically different lengths.

Alief ISD has approved a new calendar for the 2012-2013 school year that will still have the same number of  days, but with an imbalance in the number of days in the fall and spring semesters.

The first term of the new school year will have 38 days, the second term will have 40 days, the third term will have 42 days, and the fourth term will now have 57 days.

In a letter sent to all the teachers in Alief, Superintendent H.D. Chambers said, “One of the main considerations in approving Calendar 1 was the fact that testing and most school activities (such as UIL competitions and field trips) primarily occur during the spring semester.”

The first semester will end on December 21, before Winter Break. The third semester will end March 15, 2013, before Spring Break. Students and staff will still have a full week of vacation for Thanksgiving. The school year will end in the second week of June 2013.

The new calendar is not very popular with some teachers because the changes it brings, with less time to go over the material they are required to teach.

“I have to cover 20 chapters in Accounting,” business teacher Doris Curry said. In the fall semester, “how am I going to do that now that you’ve taken all of these days away?”

She feels that although it is nice for students to have a holiday without the stress of new classes, ending the fall semester before Winter Break is unfair to students who use Winter Break to study for their finals or finish their work.

“It’s kind of nice to be able to come back with a clean slate,” she said, “but it’s also nice to give the kids the opportunity to catch up on their work that they’re behind on during the winter break.”

Sophomore Jason Nguyen, however, feels relieved at the time off from homework during winter vacation.

“I’m up for anything, but it’s really nice to have the feeling that teachers won’t be able to shove work down our throats during break.”