Hacienda La Puente schools to open Wednesday

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It may be the dog days of summer, but for the 21,000 students at Hacienda La Puente Unified School District, it’s time to go back to school.

“I’m excited to go back to school, but it’s way too early,” admitted Hijoo Le, ASB president at Newton Middle School in Hacienda Heights.

Like Le, most students in Hacienda La Puente Unified have mixed feelings about starting school Wednesday, two weeks earlier than the previous year due to an early start calendar approved by the board last December.

That start date means the San Gabriel Valley’s largest school district is opening almost two weeks before neighboring districts Rowland Unified and Walnut Valley Unified. Those districts begin Aug. 20.

Parents protested the decision to start early, saying it would disrupt family vacations and distract students sitting in warmer classrooms.

School officials and four of five board members say the new school calendar will help high school students do better on AP tests – giving them more time to prepare.

The administration, as well as many parents, also likes the way the fall semester ends at winter recess, so students won’t have to carry over projects or take finals after a long break.

Read more in BACKTOSCHOOL.

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