Commonly asked questions...and answers to them

When will first semester exams be scheduled under the new law?

The law does not tell districts when to schedule their exams and allows these decisions to be made locally. Typically, schools with "traditional" calendars will schedule exams in mid January, as this time-frame divides the semesters equally. The majority of schools in the country take their semester exams in January. For many families, early start dates have resulted in the scheduling of exams the week before the holiday break. For many of us, this is the most hectic week of the entire year as we make holiday preparations, entertain guests, pack for trips, shop for gifts, bake cookies, etc. Teachers report that students' energy levels are very high just before a break and they have difficulty concentrating.

Doesn't it make sense for students to return to school in January, refreshed and ready to hit the books, have an opportunity for review (which reinforces long term learning), then take their exams in mid-January? Let's face it. January is a pretty dull month with few distractions and the perfect time for exams. If students cannot retain what they've learned for two weeks, how will they remember it for next year, or for accountability tests . . . or for life? Shouldn't long term learning be the priority?

More questions & answers...

What is the economic impact of earlier school start dates on our state?

I've heard that the passage of this law is really about tourism interests. Is this true?

Why shouldn't our local school boards be able to make all school calendar decisions?

Is Save SC Summers a special interest group?

How will a later start affect our children's education and state accountability testing?

Are other states experiencing similar problems with early start dates?

Why are school leaders so opposed to this legislation, if it is what parents want?

Does the new law merely shift the school year?

How can I help protect this law?

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