Luck of the seniors

My senior year of high school isn’t quite as stressful as the other years, but it’s not full of relaxation either. In my last year, I am piled down with worries about financial aid, scholarships and acceptance letters from the list of colleges I applied to. One of the few perks of being a senior is graduation. The diploma is placed in your hands as a sign of no longer having to drag yourself out of bed at some ungodly hour in the morning (anything before 9AM is just way too early), just to survive through a tiring, approximate seven hours of seminars, PAK work, and trying to weave your way around the herd of underclassmen blocking the already crowded hallways. Until recently, graduation was all I had to look forward to as a senior. However, another reason included major changes in the upcoming school calendar, after class of 2011 has already left.

calendar, with the same amount of vacation days, and school ending on the last day of May. The second calendar has school ending on the second to last day of May. There is the same amount of student holidays for the second calendar as there is with the first calendar, which is 27. The third calendar proposes that the last day of school be on May 24, in the second to last week of May. Alief proposed three calendars for the 2011-2012 school year – all three start on August 23, each one with slight differences. The first calendar was the traditional ISD AliefA committee in


Now, here’s where the huge, fun changes come in (or not-so-fun, depending on whether you’re a senior or an underclassman). The second calendar differs from our traditional calendar because there are only three days of thanksgiving break, not including the weekend. Also, right after celebrating the New Year, students are expected to be back to school the following Monday, on January 2, 2012. However, this isn’t reason to panic. The two missing days of Thanksgiving Break, and the one tiny holiday after New Years have just simply been placed somewhere else – the weekend after term two finals has been upgraded to a four day weekend. Another four day weekend appears at the beginning of April, and the last day of school is on May 30, rather than May 31.  

I’ve mentioned earlier that the third calendar proposed that the last day of school be on the second to last week of May rather than the last week of May or early June. This is great news, since it means we might have a full three months of summer break rather than simply two and a half. But with good news comes sacrifice. Like the second calendar proposal, the third calendar also features a three-day only Thanksgiving Break. However, it doesn’t end there. In the third calendar proposal, while school starts on a Wednesday after the New Year, and features a four day weekend in April, Winter Break has been hacked off by a little less than a week. Instead of the usual two week vacation in which everyone has time to pack and head out to their snowboarding/skiing resort in Canada, or make cheery holiday memories in some exotic country outside of the United States, the third calendar proposal only has 8 days of vacation, not including the weekends, and has a total of only twenty three vacation days as opposed to the usual twenty seven like the other former two proposed calendars. I guess you can panic now, but you should actually count your lucky stars. There was a fourth calendar that was almost considered as a proposal to the school board.  

The fourth calendar included the two week break in December, a full week of Thanksgiving break, and all other one-holiday breaks except for Labor day and Memorial day. Oh, I forgot to mention. The fourth almost-considered-proposal calendar threw away Spring Break. Not two days, or three days, but the whole break itself. But no worries, it’s not being presented to the school board. Only the three former calendar proposals are.  

How is this affecting me or other seniors graduating this year? That’s the great thing: it’s not. As we leave the school year, we’ll still be having a tough time at school (depending which school we get into), and some of us will actually have a three-day Thanksgiving break, or have tests and classes on Saturdays even. But one of the good things is that we’ll have pretty much a month off for Winter Break, rather than two weeks, or worse, just one week.  

2011, you’re looking pretty good right about now.