Pitch Opinion: Updated schedule

Pitch+Opinion%3A+Updated+schedule

Pitch Staff

    Since governor Larry Hogan’s executive order at the start of the year, underclassmen have been eagerly looking forward to next year’s updated schedule, which will push start dates further into August, allowing the school year to begin no earlier than Labor Day. This schedule, which many school systems in Virginia have used for years, has been desired by students for ages, and now it is finally on the road to becoming a reality. However, student excitement has since turned to dread following superintendent Jack Smith’s December plan to “balance” this new post Labor Day start.

    Due to fear that Hogan’s proposed September 5-June 15 schedule would leave schools in a state of panic should snow days pile up, Smith has suggested that the first two days of spring break, March 26 and 27, as well as June 15-21, be used as backup in the event of a buildup of snow days, in the vein of the miracle that was 2016’s Snowzilla. Needless to say, this decision has proved wildly unpopular with students and teachers alike.

    However, while nearly all of us stand boldly against this plan, it may, in fact, be a needed compromise. A large component of Smith’s reasoning comes from the fact that in election years, Labor Day falls later in the month, which would further constrict the school year. Although it doesn’t seem that way, Smith’s proposal may be the only way Hogan’s start time can stay for more than a few years. If we don’t take the good with the bad and outwardly protest the backup days, it is entirely possible that the schedule will return to its earlier state come 2020. None of us enjoy the prospect of losing break days, but we need to consider what’s more important: our much-coveted later start date or a handful of days off during the year?

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