SUHSD announces July 21 student start date for upcoming school year

In+late+January%2C+the+Sweetwater+Union+High+School+District+%28SUHSD%29+Board+of+Trustees+approved+the+calendar+for+the+2021-2022+school+year.+The+school+year+will+begin+two+weeks+earlier+than+it+did+for+the+2020-2021+school+year.+

Sourced from sweetwaterschools.org

In late January, the Sweetwater Union High School District (SUHSD) Board of Trustees approved the calendar for the 2021-2022 school year. The school year will begin two weeks earlier than it did for the 2020-2021 school year.

Evan Abutin and Yealin Lee

In late January, the Sweetwater Union High School District (SUHSD) Board of Trustees approved the calendar for the 2021-2022 school year. The school year will begin two weeks earlier than it did for the 2020-2021 school year.In a Sweetwater Union High School District (SUHSD) Board of Trustees meeting on Jan. 25, the district announced that the 2021-2022 school year will begin on July 21, a return to their usual start date. Before classes begin, teachers will attend Professional Development Days on July 19 and 20, which are “day[s] without students,” according to SUHSD General Counsel Jennifer Carbuccia.

This updated calendar contrasts with the current 2020-2021 school year, which started for students on Aug. 3 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Bonita Vista High (BVH) junior Henry Tang believes that this year’s later start date was an appropriate response for a time when “the situation wasn’t fully fleshed out.” According to Tang, the faculty, staff and teachers needed additional time over break to adapt their teaching to distance learning.

“With the different pace of online learning, it gave them time to restructure the curriculum. For example, [in] Advanced Placement (AP) Physics we lost two of the core units this year, and that was a necessity because learning is a bit slower,” Tang said. 

Although no specific reason has been stated as to why SUHSD decided to start the 2021-2022 school year on the normal start time, U.S. History and AP Art History teacher James Goodwin speculated that starting the next school year on the usual start date is a step to returning back to normal. 

“I suspect it may be an attempt to have a sense of normalcy so that [SUHSD] doesn’t have to change all the dates and manage all the changes that we had to make this year,” Goodwin said.

I suspect it may be an attempt to have a sense of normalcy.”

— U.S. History AP Art History teacher James Goodwin

Beyond the new start time, Goodwin explained how the main priority should be creating an interactive academic environment for BVH teachers and students. He feels that BVH is still in the process of recovering from the effects of COVID-19.

“What I think is super important right now is to worry less about the slog of so much content that we’re really supposed to know and worrying more about connecting with individuals, teachers [and] students,” Goodwin said. “The fact that we’re starting on a normal schedule will give us a little bit more flexibility in [the] next school year, but […] we’re in a healing phase right now, so I’m not terribly worried about content to be perfectly honest.”