The exam week schedule has stayed consistent for many years at St. Paul’s, but this year a late start schedule has been implemented for exams to be held Dec. 15-18, 2015.
Students are used to having the usual start time of 7:45 a.m. during exam week with a early dismissal time of 1:30 p.m. This year, however, the schedule has been modified to accommodate a late start of 8:15 a.m. on each exam day, pushing the dismissal time to 2:10 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday and 11:45 a.m. on Friday.
“It’s something that Principal Watkins and I have discussed for a while,” Assistant Principal Joe Dickens said. “Research indicates that there is a small time period that makes all of the difference in the world in the life of a teenager. We are kind of experimenting with this during exam week with the possibility of a permanent schedule change if students’ test scores prove to be better.”
Rumors of the possibility of a later start time have been circulating for years between St. Paul’s students. Now, the rumors might just become a reality. One would think that most students would be enthusiastic towards the idea of being able to sleep in, even for a few minutes. Some, however, see the proposal as unneeded.
“I think that it is a valiant attempt by the (St. Paul’s) administration to boost testing scores by giving us a few more minutes to sleep in,” junior A.J. LaCroix said, “but honestly students will still undoubtedly come to school just as groggy as they would if we started at the usual time.”
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 60% of schools and students disagree with that that statement. As of the 2011-2012 school year, only 40% of schools in America still started before 8 a.m. The argument made was that if students had the later start, attendance rates would increase, tardiness rates would decrease, and academic practice would become more effective and efficient. According to a study conducted by the University of Minnesota, these controversial variables proved to be true. In fact, more than 9,000 students’ data showed an average increase in academic performance and attendance, and a decrease in tardiness.
This proposal, in addition to the upcoming remodeling of Benilde Hall’s library, joins a list of many other ideas that may morph St. Paul’s culture in the coming years.