As students of the Bellingham School District, we feel that the education of all students is being limited by starting too late in the year. Many students are challenged by enrolling in Advanced Placement classes, which have nationally standardized tests occurring in early May. High test scores can help students gain college credit, allowing them to gain credit for entry-level classes in college and therefore saving money on tuition in the long run.
Our district usually starts school in early September; whereas, many schools throughout the nation start earlier; ranging from mid- to late-August. Even starting a couple of weeks earlier would help students in our district prepare for their tests at the end of the year. We propose that our school district move up the start of school date in order create a better environment for those students taking AP tests.
In addition to having more time before the test, moving the start date would then move the end-of-school date as well, allowing for less wasted time in AP classes after the testing. Many classes simply watch movies in the weeks between the end of AP tests and the end of school. Students feel their time at school is wasted after the tests. As high schools are pushing their students to take high-level courses, they must remove wasted time by beginning the school year to mid- or early-August rather than early September.
Cora Peterson and Abigail VonFeldt