WSS editorial board Aaron Carter Akash Borde Brittani Langland Consuelo Mendoza Chanel Vidal Isabelle Robles Jaycie Weathers Katie Peplow Kelsey Keranen Lauren Knudson Lushia Anson Madie Miller Megumi Kitamoto Michael Moonjely Nick Deerberg Sharon Xiang Equity Statement
It is the policy of the Iowa City Community School not to discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, national origin, gender, age, martial status, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status, disability, socioeconomic programs, activities or employment practices. If you believe you have (or your child has) been discriminated against or treated unjustly at your school, please contact the Equity Director at 509 Dubuque Street, 319-688-1000.
Wake me up when september begins
WSS offers advice about policy that would delay the start of the school year Ah yes, summertime. Although beloved by students and teachers, it ends all too soon in midAugust each year. Well, maybe not for long. In the past, the State Legislature consistently granted Iowa a waiver for permission to start schools before Labor Day; however, the 2015-2016 school year may be a little different. Although starting schools after Labor Day may increase State Fair revenue and tourism, the West Side Story thinks differently. School until mid-June? This just won’t fly. After a long, cold winter and spring, students are antsy with anticipation of warm summer days, soaking up the sun at local pools and forgetting the stress of math and group projects. If school is extended into June, that means more hot days for us in school taking finals. In August, the heat is difficult to deal with, but we don’t have to take final exams in that weather as we would if the end date were extended.
Similar to finals, AP tests are always in May. With less time before the exams, teachers and students will have to pick up the already fast-paced curriculum or leave things out, both undesirable for enhancing learning. This sends a message to the students from the legislature that education isn’t as important as tourism. Is this an accurate representation of the priorities Iowa has for education? We don’t think so. With unpredictable Iowa winters, it isn’t far-fetched to assume the district could add a week to our school year with cancellations. Soon, mid-June would turn into late-June and the summer would become even shorter. Maybe this isn’t a pressing issue, but something that does misalign is the way the Iowa City community coordinates itself to the University’s schedule. A later start may cause problems for employees of the U of I who are also parents. Summer camps are also another concern for students.
Many activities, which start in early June, would have to be canceled. What the WSS proposes the district does to combat the possible lack of waiver is to count hours instead of school days. By adding ten minutes to each school day, we could earn ourselves at least a week or more of summer in June. Although there is a new law expected to pass that grants school districts the power to choose their own start date, this is the best option and we have faith that legislators will make the choice that is suited for the state.
Do you think starting school after labor day is a good idea?
WSS editorial board voted against the proposal.
The West Side Story reflects the views of the staff and does not represent the school administration, faculty or student body. Guest articles may be accepted to represent an additional point of view or as a part of a collection of reader contributions. The staff will carefully scrutinize all reader submissions. All ads are subject to approval by the business staff. Those that are libelous, obscene or plainly offensive may be rejected. The West Side Story attempts to publish all letters, which must be signed, to the Editors, but may reject submissions due to space limitations, inaccuracy or poor quality. It is the responsibility of the opinion editor to verify authorship. Editors can make minor edits for the sake of clarity, length and grammatical correctness.
ART by Kelsey Keranen
wsspaper.com February 2015 opinion 43
Iowa City West High's February 2015 student newspaper