Lane begins earliest school start in recent history


Ruby Thompson

Lane students walk the hallways during Quick Start, held the week before school’s early start.

By Avaani Julka, Assistant Editor

After years of some of the latest start dates in the nation, CPS shifted to a new schedule this year, one that puts the district start date much more in line with nearby suburbs. The Aug. 22 start date is set to be the earliest CPS start in recent history.

In an April interview with The Champion, Principal Edwina Thompson said that this early start this school year should benefit students. 

“Everyone’s felt like there’s been such a learning … pause, due to COVID,” Thompson said. “A shorter amount of time leaves less time for a gap between resuming learning, and it could possibly help students in the long run.”

According to Thompson, the earlier start date also allows for more instructional days before AP exams during the school year, which has in the past provided an advantage for suburban and private school counterparts. These days will grant students the ability to learn and prepare more for the exams, which are a common stressor for the Lane student body. 

AP US Government and Politics teacher Rebecca Daly detailed that given the extensive choices of AP classes at Lane, getting the most out of the new school schedule will be highly beneficial to students. 

“We have the serious disadvantage with starting late. So, for those students who are taking AP classes, this is really going to be a huge advantage with them. There’s no doubt about it,” Daly told The Champion in May. “Look around the nation, the great majority of schools are starting at the time that we are now going to start, and the date of the tests never waver to fit, regardless of your start date.”

The second semester will also now start right after winter break, which Thompson says should mean work shouldn’t need to be done over the break.

In regards to athletics, with the earlier start, almost all IHSA events will take place during the school year. This means summer sports schedules were slightly affected, including for first-year students.

“Especially with sports, I have to get more into it earlier … over the summer waking up a lot earlier for morning practice,” said incoming freshman and soccer player Kaiser Chapman. “It’s a little bit difficult and that kind of put a lot of stress on me.” 

Chapman also described the apprehension he has felt surrounding the earlier start.

“I think my stress levels have increased because we ended school later last year, so it’s less time to kind of prepare,” he said.

Incoming Academic Center 8th grader Daelani Jacome shared similar feelings of stress. 

“We’re starting earlier but we didn’t get out earlier last school year, so the summer’s shorter. …  So it will be harder, and usually school starts in September,” Jacome said.

But, according to incoming freshman Julia Pentangelo, there still are some positives with the earlier start.

“Honestly, I prefer starting earlier and ending earlier because I have a lot of friends that are like in Evanston and in the suburbs,” Pentangelo said. “And like our school years, and our breaks are just not the same time so we [couldn’t] hang out as much as we could.”


Alex Burstein and Mariah Shaikh contributed reporting