What they’re saying: Mid-March “Break”?

    The majority of Palo Alto High School students will seemingly have an unofficial early spring break due to the combination of a local holiday, the weekend and the California High School Exit Examination, or CAHSEE, testing next week.

    All students will have tomorrow off due to a local holiday. After this weekend, only sophomores and those who need to take the CAHSEE will have school on Tuesday and Wednesday, providing an extended “break” for the rest of the school.

    In addition to this Friday’s local holiday, students who do not have to take the CAHSEE will have Tuesday, March 17 and Wednesday, March 18 off. School will be in session on Monday, March 16. Screenshot by Josh Yuen.

    With so many multiple days off, The Paly Voice investigates how students and faculty are approaching this unusual upcoming schedule.

    Students

    Monday is the odd day out in the scheduling because school will be in session as a C day. Although most students don’t plan on cutting class, they predict that there will be a fair amount of students that will.

    “I’m not [going to cut], but I know a lot of people that are going to skip,” junior Shivani Parikh said. “They don’t see the point of having three days off and then two more days off.”

    In agreement of the awkward scheduling, senior Yerem Istanboulian offers a possible solution for next year.

    “If they could just move the day off on Friday to Monday, that would be better,” Istanboulian said.

    Teachers

    CAHSEE testing has always been mandated by the state as the Tuesday and Wednesday of the third week in March.

    Sophomore English teacher Trinity Klein believes that many teachers have gotten used to CAHSEE testing and just see the upcoming schedule as a long weekend followed by a light week of work.

    “I think that the long weekend doesn’t really make a difference because we have a regular schedule on Monday,” Klein said. “It [the CAHSEE] is not a labor-intensive process. They [the rest of the weekdays] are just light work days compared to normal.”

    Administration

    Recognizing that absence rates will naturally be a little higher than usual on Monday, Assistant Principal Jerry Berkson said that missing one day of school is not a big deal. Berkson also agreed that having the district move the local holiday to Monday rather than Friday would have worked out better in hindsight.

    “It’s not the end of the world, kids missing one day,” Berkson said. “I think a student could survive missing one day, not that I’m encouraging them to just take it off.”

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