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IE school district starts 3 weeks early

August 12, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
For most kids, the month of August is prime summer break time. But this August, some kids are already heading back to school.While many students are still on summer break, some are already back in the classroom.

Miss Kruse's senior English class at Chaffey High is just a handful of -- the more than 25,000 -- students in the school district who came back to school three weeks early this year.

"It was terrible. I had less time to play my guitar and spend time with my family and stuff," said Chaffey High student Steven Viruete.

But administrators didn't do it to wreck summer break. They say they're trying to make the school schedule fit better with the calendar year.

For example, by starting school three weeks early the first semester they will actually end before Christmas break.

"That was one of the things we wanted to try to tackle," said District Superintendent Mat Holton. "We wanted to make sure we're finishing that first semester, and they actually have their finals a week before they go on break, so when they come back there aren't the long review sessions, and they're able to start fresh in the second semester."

Holton says there are other benefits as well.

"It also provides opportunities for them to have more time to prepare for the California high school exit exam, and for the AP exams that are set for the same time every year," said Holton.

So the district says they're actually buying more time for the students, an extra three weeks because of the change in the school schedule. And with no need for a winter review, that gives students an extra four weeks to prepare for those state tests.

"Whatever works because we are going for scholarships. More schooling is better for us," said parent Deanna Calderon.

The changes affect all eight high schools in Montclair, Ontario and Rancho Cucamonga.

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