Debates about finals have been around for the longest time. The timing of finals has always bothered students, especially for first semester. The Grossmont Union High School District has changed the calendar countless times. In 2008, the district had changed the calendar for the school year so that finals would take place two weeks after winter break. Students were very upset by this, as a poll by Valhalla Saga showed that only 3% of the student body had preferred that finals start after break. In the upcoming school year, the Grossmont Union High School District is changing the school calendar so that finals is before winter break. This brought joy to the students, and had been long awaited. Next year, Valhalla students will be going back to the old calendar of having finals before winter break.
Finals Before Break by J. De Stefano, News Editor (Volume XXXIV, Issue 4, February 2008)
In August 2007, when Valhalla students were saying ¨Goodbye” to summer and ¨Hello¨ to the new school year, they were also welcoming an entirely new school calendar.
Prior to this school year, the GUHSD followed a program that had finals scheduled two weeks after Winter Break. At the end of the school year back in 2007, district leaders agreed on a new calendar, where the first semester would end on the Friday before Winter Break. The new shorter duration of the semester was not the only thing that stressed out faculty, as preparing for the second semester before December 21 was also new for them.
However, many students had trepidations about the schedule and initial reactions tended to be more on the pessimistic side. Valhalla junior Grace Clawson said that she “was familiar with [the old calendar] and didn’t want the first semester to be rushed.”
Because of the week we lost back in October due to wildfires, both students and faculty felt stressed and worried even more.
But in the end, the students were prepared, and the faculty was relieved that everything went smoothly. Unlike the years before, Valhalla students were able to enjoy a Winter Break that was free of homework, studying, and the anxiety of daunting tests on the horizon.
An overwhelming majority of the 388 students surveyed (379) preferred taking finals before break. With the new calendar, students were able to start the official New Year with a fresh semester.