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Winterim Schedule Change

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"A group of students have advocated that Winterim be moved to the end
of the year and we want you to help us.

Winterim was made to be a break from APA’s normal rigorous routine and
offer a few electives, which are otherwise omitted from our choice of
classes, from which a student may choose any three. However, when a
student has an Advanced Placement class, he/she loses the opportunity
to participate in this divergence from the normal schedule for every
AP class taken. Furthermore, a select few students next year will have
more AP classes than there are Winterim blocks available. Also, skills
such as vocabulary mastery, date recollection, and instrumental skill
that have taken so long to build up may be lost in these additional
three weeks which is critical for our academics. Winter break, in the
middle of the year, makes this worse. These losses defeat the purpose
of Winterim and cause both pupils and teachers to have a less
productive experience. While creating an A and B block schedule is
possible, this has the adverse effect of halving the time open to
students to glean knowledge from their respective classes, thus
further decreasing the effectiveness of Winterim. On the other hand,
if Winterim were moved to the end of the year, this problem would no
longer exist. After AP tests, much of the time in the AP classes is
spent doing insignificant activities; students do not receive
important homework, because the aim of the class is to pass the AP
test. During the last few weeks, Winterim would prove to be more
productive than wasting class time. AP students would be able to
fully enjoy Winterim, and would not be punished during Winterim for
taking rigorous classes. Everyone could receive as much new
experience and knowledge as possible in this three week period.

Moreover, although Winterim was meant to provide an admired
intermission from typical classes, this break is entirely unnecessary
after the two-week long Winter Recess guaranteed to occur just before.
As both students and teachers have noticed after returning to their
routine classes, recalling information taught five weeks before is
next to impossible. Winterim greatly slows the traditional classes by
causing review time that ought to only exist after Summer Vacation. If
Winterim were moved to the end of year, we would be done with classes
and able to enjoy Winterim without having to worry about forgetting
knowledge or having to go through the process of reviewing everything
in the middle of the school year. Winterim in January is both
detrimental to education and without much overall benefit.

On the other hand, we do recognize that testing takes precedence over
anything else at the end of the year. Because of this, we believe
that adding three weeks of preparation earlier in the year is more
beneficial than last-minute cramming. Furthermore, reducing the time
necessary for the review due to Winter Break and Winterim (as
described above) will increase the amount of content which teachers
can give to their students before standardized testing, which will
improve our scores more than any eleventh-hour learning.

Nevertheless, we also recognize the general fear that placing Winterim
at the end of the year would drastically reduce student attendance
because you would no longer see a use in attending those last few
weeks. However, this problem can be easily solved. Although Winterim
classes are currently pass-fail and have no effect on one’s GPA, this
can be changed. This change would provide motivation for us to
continue to attend and, therefore, we will continue to attend.

Moving Winterim to the end of the year will benefit all of us by
giving electives to all and decreasing the time necessary for review
after Winter Break. It will also maintain attendance and maximize the
content that can be learned in a single school year. Allowing us to
recall our memory immediately after Winter Break will make it so that
overall knowledge stays pretty consistent. Because of this
consistency and the extra time to study, testing scores will go up,
improving the school’s reputation. Everyone will enjoy themselves and
will decide to stay those last three weeks. We will all greatly
appreciate it if you agree to this. We are sure this schedule change
will benefit everyone."-Miguel Jahen

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