Extend School Days, Not Years

Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) have decided to extend the school year from June 20th to June 25th; this was a terrible decision. There was another option that many schools around the DC area have implemented–adding time to the school day, which is the option FCPS should have chosen.

Due to the many IB and AP exams taken at the school in May, the added time would allow teachers to be able to provide enough preparation for the various tests students must take. IB and AP tests are not be able to be moved, due to the fact that they are national and international tests and have certain regulations, including testing times.

However, the state moved back SOLS by a week. This gives an unfair advantage to those enrolled in non-IB or AP classes that do not require exams, thus giving students in those classes an upper-hand. While SOLS are important, they can be retaken to determine class credit. IB and AP exams determine class and college credit, and cannot be retaken or rescheduled. Even missing these exams often costs students upwards of 100 dollars.

Adding thirty minutes to the school day, if it had started on May 1, would have accumulated to be the same amount of time that the two extra days gave.

Due to the snow days, many classes are behind, and are rushing to catch up. Even having a few extra minutes in each class would give teachers the extra time, so that they are not being as rushed to teach the material.  Students would be more prepared for finals and exams.

Even though the added time would be beneficial to students, it may disrupt the bus schedule, and after school activities.  However, those are only small cons to a plan of action that would be beneficial to most in the school system.

Ultimately, however, adding a mere 20 or 30 minutes to the school day would enable teachers to make up for lost time and prepare students for test taking. Although IB and AP exams are already underway, it is not too late for FCPS to implement a new policy regarding unexpected snow days. This policy would benefit everyone—after all, very little educational material is taught in the last week of school.