By Bailey Tower
Cougar News Blog
Cactus Canyon is kicking off the new school year with shorter weeks and longer classes as all schools in the Apache Junction Unified School District reduced their week to four days.
While there is no longer school on Fridays, classes have been extended by about five minutes.
The Monday through Thursday week makes it a bit difficult for teachers to get all grading done, but teachers are learning to find new methods, including using Fridays.
“I grade differently now. Most of the time I wait until Friday to grade certain things and put the grades into gradebook,” said seventh-grade math teacher Cindy Wilson. “I still grade all the things I used to grade and there is the same amount of grading to be done and one less day to get it in.”
Some teachers like having their classes a couple more minutes than last year because they cover more content each day.
“I like having the extra time with my classes each day, and I feel like I can go into more detail about things,” said eighth-grade science teacher Candace Wyatt.
Teachers also feel like they have a better understanding of Beyond Textbooks, which means students are doing better academically, despite the shorter week.
“Last year Cactus Canyon started using beyond Textbooks and I feel like I know the curriculum better,” said Mrs. Wilson.
The Monday through Thursday school week is impacting some students positively. The extra minutes is so far helping eighth Olivia Baxter get work done.
“I have seen a difference in my academic performance since last year and I understand more information this year,” said Baxter. “The extra 30 minutes of school this year is actually better because I have more time to work on things.”