Students across campus are holding their breath as the proposed changes to the 2004-2005 academic calendar, including the shortening of Thanksgiving Break, may be finalized as early as this weekend. The second draft of the calendar states that classes will began on September 14, 2004, with classes on the Monday and Tuesday before Thanksgiving, and schedules no traditional mid-winter holiday. The Academic Council reviewed the changes during one of their weekly meetings on Thursday. The proposed calendar has also been discussed by the Cluster Deans and by the House Counselors’ Committee. However, the Deans’ Council, which began discussing the changes late in Fall term, will ultimately approve the final draft of the calendar. According to Dean of Studies Vincent Avery, the Council will choose between moving the mid-winter holiday to the Fall term or leaving it in Winter term. Unless this holiday is moved, students will have only one three-day weekend next fall, which will occur on Parents’ Weekend. This year, the Academy had 142 class days. If the school were to plan next year’s calendar according to the same pattern and the same limits as that of this year, the school would have only 136 days of classes. Though there had been discussion of expanding the school year, Dr. Avery said that “[the Deans’ Council] wanted to find school days within the limits of the school year.” As a result, the Council looked to adjust the calendar by shortening Thanksgiving Break and by cutting one holiday in the fall or winter. There are currently 141 school days planned for the 2004-2005 academic year. As a private school, Andover is not obligated by law to have a specific number of school days, Dr. Avery noted. “For families, faculty, and students, it is going to be a little odd to have classes on the Monday and Tuesday before Thanksgiving Break,” Dr. Avery said. “This will be the most noticeable difference,” he continued. If classes were to resume earlier in September, faculty members would have to return before Labor Day. Dr. Avery noted that there is some “reluctance” amongst the faculty to this plan. He also said that there have been no considerations to use extra Saturday classes to gain class time. Similar to this year, there will be three Saturday classes in the fall and three in the spring. When asked why the year could not be extended into June, Dr. Avery explained that “People are tired in June, and alumni reunions would have to be held later” He continued, “ There would be less time for OPP to refurbish dormitories before the beginning of Summer Session.”
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