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New academic calender introduced for the 2024-2025 school year

Rihanna Samples
As the new school year approaches, so do new changes for students at Foothill Technology High School (Foothill Tech). The 2024-2025 school year shakes things up by putting semester one finals before winter break and adding extra weeks to the second semester.

A sweeping change was announced for the Ventura Unified School District (VUSD), with a new academic calendar being introduced for the 2024-2025 school year. Traditionally, schools in VUSD resumed session in the final week of August and ended midway through June. However, the new schedule will bring the start and end dates forward, with classes beginning in the first week of August and ending in the first week of June.

The new calendar for the 2024-2025 academic year advances the previous schedule, altering the start and end times of school sessions. (VUSD)

The idea was proposed in the spring of 2023 and finalized in the summer, with VUSD stating, “The primary objective behind this change is to ensure that our semesters conclude before winter break, eliminating the need for students and staff to return after the holidays to complete semester work.” Additionally, the new schedule would align more closely with the academic calendars of neighboring districts.

As with all high schools within Ventura Unified, Foothill Technology High School (Foothill Tech)’s first semester finals have occurred after winter break, rather than before. Jonathan “JJ” Mendez ‘27 stated, “I kind of forget … a majority of certain things [during winter break], and having to take a test on it [when we return], [I’m] just completely lost.”

Similarly, Kiana Felix ‘25 said, “I think this is definitely a great adaptation that we needed. Coming back … having my mind flushed out, but then having to bring back material that we hadn’t been working on for two weeks straight … I think it hurt more.”

With a different perspective, Spanish teacher Alberto Ortiz expressed concerns about the shift, “Usually, [for] students who have any sort of missing assignments … it’s always helpful to have that extra time.”

“I can predict that December will be a very stressful month … for teachers, we have to plan accordingly two weeks in advance [as] grading has to be done in Winter Break, and sometimes things get in the way,” he added.

It’s going to take some time for everyone to adjust to it.”

— Alberto Ortiz, AP Spanish Teacher

Additionally, with Advanced Placement (AP) classes ending in May, students and teachers involved with those courses have had a longer period of time to fill with non-AP curriculum, which will be shortened with the new calendar. Lupita Gonzalez ‘24 said, “You still learn, but it’s not as intensive. So AP students wouldn’t feel that they’re stuck until the [school] year ends.”

Ortiz added, “After all the standardized testing, people are done, right? As teachers, we try to keep the engagement level high, but ultimately, students are mentally checked out.”

With the new academic calendar being implemented, the first semester will end before winter break, upturning the dates of when finals are taken and allowing for students to take the exams with the content fresh in their minds, but can also add stress for those with missing assignments and for teachers who need to plan grading ahead of time. Additionally, the new start date gives AP classes an extra week to prepare for the exam, and less time to fill following standardized tests.

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About the Contributors
Ailanie Martinez
Ailanie Martinez, Assignment Editor
I may be short but everyone looks up to me.
Rihanna Samples
Rihanna Samples, Multimedia Editor
A junior who is constantly looking at the world through the lens of a camera.

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