The SFUSD has made some big changes in the 2017-2018 school calendar that was approved by the Board of Education in January. These changes in the schedule include a weeklong Thanksgiving break, school starts a week later (Aug 21) & ends a week later (June 6), & winter break is a day longer starting on a Friday, December 22 & ending on January 5. Another big difference is the amount of school days in each semester, the fall semester will have 81 days and the spring semester will have 99 days. Each semester is usually close to 90 days but there is almost a 20 day difference between the fall & spring semesters next year.
No one knows the impact of the schedule change yet, but the Galileo administration is anxious to hear the response of the students and staff. Principal Dr. Reimer stated, “I’m curious to see how it’s going to go next year, it is a little different than what we saw in the past but I’m interested in how many people are going to like it and to see how it is going to impact our work.”
The changes to the calendar were decided by a committee of 8 to 10 people, made up of cite representation & members from the district, who developed a new calendar for the next school year, after months of discussion. By law in California, schools have to have a total of 180 school days, called the “Ed Code,” but next year there will be a total of 184 service days, four days for teachers to work and prepare for the new school year.
The biggest difference in the schedule for most people seems to be the week long Thanksgiving break. The SFUSD decided this because 2 days of school is hard to teach a lesson in that time period and the attendance from students, teachers and staff are light and it drops significantly.
Teachers and students like the idea of of more days for Thanksgiving to do things other than school. Junior Helen V. stated, “I like it because during thanksgiving break I don’t have to come to school for a week.” English teacher Ms. Peters said, “The idea of a week long break for Thanksgiving sounds cool. I rather have school start later in the day because scientifically it shows that students learn better.”
, “I like it because we have a week of thanksgiving, but I rather sacrifice the long semesters for a long breaks,”said Science teacher Ms. Smith. Freshman Ken S. stated, “[I like the idea of having a full week off for Thanksgiving because] I’ll feel less stress and I’ll have more time to sleep and relax. I can focus more on visiting family and hanging out with friends.
While most students & staff like the idea of having a week off for Thanksgiving, many don’t have a strong opinion about starting late and ending late in school because it all ends up the same. Junior Sergio S. said, “We are going to have the same amount of days so it’s the same just a little delayed.”
Teachers & students though have different worries when it comes to the big difference between the number of days in the 1st semester and the 2nd. Math teacher Mr. Curtin said, “I’m worried for students who transfer from another district and because they might miss out on a lot of school days when they switch in between school semesters.” Junior Kayla Lam stated, “ I don’t care about the long semester in spring, I just don’t want to graduate in June.”