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School pupils at the Bridge Learning Campus answer questions in a classroom at the school on February 24, 2010 in Bristol, England.
The school year is wrapping up for students across the country and in Los Angeles, but some parents say the curriculum ended weeks ago, and that kids have been academically checked out during the end of the semester.
L.A. schools have seen a variety of schedules and changes to structure, from long days to multi-track semesters. Variations in private and public schools, track systems, and districts may have an impact on students and their families. Parents who see their kids unstimulated by their classes near the end of the spring semester wonder if the school year is too long, while others worry that time isn’t being budgeted effectively. Testing and AP courses raise other questions -- does the year end when the test has been taken, or when the semester concludes weeks later?
How does the structure of the school year impact students? What is the best way to adapt the schedule to optimize time for teachers and students? Can the school year be improved? Is it too long, or is time being utilized less effectively than it could be?
Darline Robles, Ph.D, Professor of Clinical Education at the USC Rossier School of Education, former superintendent of the Los Angeles County Office of Education