McNicholas has decided to modify its school year calendar for the 2012-2013 school year so that exams and the end of 2nd quarter will fall before Christmas break. It has been five years since McNicholas has scheduled exams this way and is being changed for numerous reasons.
According to Curriculum Director Mr. Dan Rosenbaum, classes tend to be more productive before Christmas break if students and teachers are focused on exams, rather than the upcoming weeks off. “Academically, it makes sense,” Rosenbaum said.
A large break right before exams is also not ideal or fair to students. Information can be easily forgotten over a long period of time, and many students are not as attentive to what they are learning right before a break. As Rosenbaum stated, “Time off is not conducive to learning.”
The reason for exams currently coming after Christmas break is simply because of the number of days in the semesters. The school tries to make the semesters as even as possible, and this year there were 89 days of instruction in the first semester, and 92 in the second. Therefore, next year, McNicholas will hardly be able to take any days off in the first semester, according to Rosenbaum, with 85 days in the first semester and 92 in the second.