Lakewood : School Studies Trimesters

Parents and teachers at Palms Elementary School are discussing a proposed two-year pilot project that would divide the school year into three semesters instead of the traditional two.

Under the Alternative Trimester Calendar, there would still be 180 school days. However, summer vacation would be shortened from 11 to 6 weeks, spring and winter vacations extended to four weeks each and the length of the three semesters would almost equal. The first semester would be 62 days, the second 57 and the third 62.

"It is our belief the proposed calender would increase learning and retention (by) the students," said Principal Suzanne SooHoo. The plan would not only increase the retention of learning lost over the traditional long summer vacation, but increase motivation, reduce student and teacher absenteeism and still provide parents with vacation choices, SooHoo said. Parents and teachers are scheduled to discuss the plan tonight at 7, on April 4 at 1 p.m. and on April 20 at 8 p.m. at the school's cafeteria.

There are 624 students and 26 teachers at the school. After the discussions, the matter will be submitted to the ABC Unified School District Board of Education for possible action. No other school in the ABC district is on the trimester plan. The district covers the cities of Lakewood, Cerritos, Artesia and Hawaiian Gardens.

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