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Some LAUSD schools get shortened summer break

August 9, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Monday marks the start of a new school year for students and teachers at three Los Angeles high schools. It's all part of a new shortened summer schedule adopted by the Los Angeles Unified School District. At Arleta High School, hundreds of students went back to school on Monday, their summer vacation cut short by one month.

"It's kind of disappointing 'cause you know, I feel like summer just started 'cause the sun started coming out," said student Samantha Rodriguez.

Student Lidia Martinez said she was torn about the new schedule.

"It really sucks 'cause I didn't have a lot of time for vacation and to rest," Martinez said. "But I'm happy about it 'cause it's better than being at home."

Twenty high schools and one elementary school in the LAUSD begin the school year on Monday on the balanced traditional calendar or next week on the early-start calendar.

Arleta High School Principal Linda Calvo said traditionally, students leave for winter break in mid-December, and then student return for finals.

"It's sort of anticlimactic," she said.

On the new schedule, students will end their first semester on Dec. 17, before they head into winter break. The schools will have two 90-day sessions, with a six-week break in between.

"It really helps the teachers and the students to focus on academics very strategically," Calvo said.

Calvo said the new schedule also eliminates the long stretch of time where students often forget what they learned during the school year.

School officials are hopeful that the new model will bring in stronger test scores and better prepare students for college.

The new schedule is one that many schools on the east coast follow. It's the first time some LAUSD schools will be trying out the new model, but most LAUSD campuses will begin school on Sept. 13.


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