Students prepare for winter break, new finals schedule

Finals+week+will+take+place+Jan.+23-25.+This+year%2C+finals+week+is+three+weeks+after+winter+break%2C+when+it+is+usually+one+week+before.
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Students prepare for winter break, new finals schedule

Finals week will take place Jan. 23-25. This year, finals week is three weeks after winter break, when it is usually one week before.

Finals week will take place Jan. 23-25. This year, finals week is three weeks after winter break, when it is usually one week before.

Photo credit: Amelia Stone

Finals week will take place Jan. 23-25. This year, finals week is three weeks after winter break, when it is usually one week before.

Photo credit: Amelia Stone

Photo credit: Amelia Stone

Finals week will take place Jan. 23-25. This year, finals week is three weeks after winter break, when it is usually one week before.

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On past winter breaks, senior Sarah Traenkle could be seen covered in snow from long days of snowboarding in Mammoth. This year, however, she will also be studying for her AP Calculus exam.

At the end of each semester, students in select Archer classes take finals exams to test students’ overall knowledge of each course. Finals usually lead into winter break, but this year, finals will take place Jan. 23-25, 2019.

Upper School Director Gretchen Warner said that the later start to school was what prompted the change.

“If we would have kept exams before the break…semester one would have been significantly shorter…than semester two,” Warner said. “When we were thinking about the schedule, we were really deliberate not to have exams as soon as we got back from break…I don’t want you studying over break. I want you to have a relaxing, rejuvenat[ing] experience.”

However, Traenkle said she wished finals had remained before break.

“Right away implementing it into a test would be better than having to wait two weeks,” Traenkle said. “Break is supposed to be a time of relaxation, but now I’m going to be stressed and have to study over break.”

The different schedule is a result of a longer summer, so the semester had to be pushed back. However, students are receiving three weeks after winter break to prepare for their exams.

“I have heard we have three weeks between when we get back from winter break and when finals actually are,” junior Arianna Miller said. “But I’m [still] nervous.”

However, students like senior Dominque Cadenas see the different finals schedule as ‘beneficial’ for their grades.

“I don’t have a lot of finals this semester,” Cadenas said. “It gives me more time [to] review over winter break, and we also have a few weeks before we have finals because we still get to learn and ask our teachers for help instead of going straight in for finals.”

Sophomore Katelyn Nash says she believes the new finals schedule is a ‘balancing act.’

“You kind of forget certain things over break, and so you have to cram a little more,” Nash said. “But it is kind of nice, you know, going into the holidays without all of that stress.”

Similar to Nash, junior Helena Bode is thinks the new schedule will be less ‘stressful.’

“We aren’t stressed out before break,” Bode said. “During break, because our grades don’t come out…we can relax and spend time with our family.”

Correction Statement (Dec. 10, 2018, 6:40 p.m.): This post was updated with comment from Upper School Director Gretchen Warner. 

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