Counterpoint: The year round schedule is just fine


Chandler Unified operates on a pretty unique schedule. The modified schedule features 9 to 10 week quarters separated by short two week breaks with the exception of summer break which is much longer. This schedule is based on the year round schedule that either follows a pattern of 60 days of instruction followed by 20 days of break, or 45 instructional days with 15 day breaks. This schedule works well for Arizona, as no one in their right mind would trade a week of break in 70 degree spring weather for seven days off in 100+ degree weather.

Other states and districts can have their long summer breaks; they do not have to deal with the desert weather. The current break still allows for lengthy vacations and plenty of time off for students. The time taken off of summer is simply better used in any other season, when the entire state is not suffocating from the heat.

Longer breaks are also more refreshing for students. An extra week makes all the difference in the world when it is the only relief between nine more weeks of school. It also allows students to catch up on other obligations that can fall behind during the stress at school, like college applications. Students with jobs can also take more hours, giving them an extra chunk of spending cash before they have to cut back their hours for school.

Some would argue that CUSD’s schedule being out of sync with other districts makes it difficult to coordinate with colleges and friends in other districts. In regards to college, students can either make time during the quarter or use the extra long breaks to get ahead on their applications. While it does make hanging out with friends a little more difficult due to shorter summers, the benefits more than make up for a few lost weeks a year. Plus most students are on vacation for summer which makes hanging out with friends difficult anyway.

Having a longer winter, spring and fall break also means that students who go on vacation in the second week do not deal with all the other tourists who are on vacation. This is an unexpected side effect but one that can be taken advantage of by savvy planners. The crowds at popular locations like Disneyland are so much shorter if students plan around avoiding most other school’s breaks.

Shorter summers also have the admittedly much lamer benefit of making students forget less. Keeping summer break short makes it easier for students to come back to school.

Shorter summers may seem like a bummer at first glance, but the upsides are many. CUSD should keep its schedule for the sake of students, teachers, and parents.