Intersession: Is it necessary or not?


Photo courtesy / Pixabay

As the school year approaches October, students worry about the new change in schedule.

Sarah Allard, Writer

Intersession, the October break implemented by the new year-round EPISD calendar, will take place the first and second weeks of October from the 4 through the 15.

This year will be EPISD’s second year operating on a year-round school calendar and its first year doing so with district-wide ongoing classes. This calendar consists of an early start in August and two additional breaks (one per semester), leaving the last day of school to fall in early June. Previously, EPISD schools followed a different calendar in which school began in mid-August and ended before the Memorial Day holiday.

EPISD officials say that this shift in dates was the most appropriate course of action considering current events.

Of course, there are many positive aspects to getting time off school in the fall. It gives students a moment to stop and refresh after a hectic return to school. In addition, it is argued that this extra time off will help keep students and staff safe while returning to in-person school amid the ongoing pandemic. With all this time off, underclassmen may take the opportunity to engage in fall festivities, seniors can scramble to polish their college applications, and teachers can take a moment to relax and plan for the next nine weeks.

“I’m looking forward to intersession because I’ll have time to relax, but also devote time to finishing up my college applications,” said senior Diego Jeddery.

However, it seems that the downsides that come with implementing a new break in October may far outweigh the positive aspects. Overall, it simply feels like the semester is being interrupted too early. Why would we want to disrupt the routine and momentum that has been developing over the past month? In addition, a two-week break in October is rather out of the ordinary, meaning that this shift in vacation time forces working parents with younger students to search for yet another way to keep their children safe and occupied. Finally, intersession poses another glaring issue: many students’ breaks will be disrupted by extracurriculars that traditionally take place this time of year.

“I mean, during the last week of intersession we have our All-Region orchestra auditions,” said senior Andrea Melendez. “While it seems like it [intersession] would be a good time for individual practice, we have a bunch of school orchestra activities, like our Halloween concert, that will suffer from the fact that we had two weeks off just before the concert.”

Another prime example of this is the fact that early October is peak marching season.

“Marching season itself starts in August and ends in early November. So, usually, in a normal year, October would be when we get busy,” said senior Cole Miranda. “This year, due to virtual school, we have a lot of underclassmen who don’t have as much experience as usual, so we’re all working really hard with them to try and get everyone where they need to be. The two weeks off means that we will have to work through the break for that.”

Additionally, the new schedule could potentially impact the band’s prospects at competition.

“We do have two very important competitions during the intersession,” Miranda said. “So, the directors have scheduled marching camps during [intersession], so we don’t fall behind and do as well as possible at those competitions.”

Despite the discord, in the end, it is only fair to say that time will tell whether the new calendar will be a step in the right direction for students and teachers.