July 14, 2004
Summer vacation ended Tuesday for about 1,400 students on a modified yearround schedule at Tempe High School.
The school, which adopted the schedule about 11 years ago, limits summer vacation to six weeks but gives students extended breaks between grading periods in the fall, winter and spring.
"We work very diligently to make sure we have students in class and ready to roll on the first day," principal Anna Battle said.
The school lobby was bustling Tuesday morning with families enrolling students at the last minute, and one teaching position remained open. But overall, Battle said everything went smoothly.
Assistant principal Dene Wallace said most families like the schedule — and not everybody minds the shorter summer break. "Parents are delighted," Wallace said. Students were also excited to return to campus and see friends. Junior Tara Dudden, 16, said the school is small enough to allow a nice family atmosphere. "Other schools are so big they don’t even know each other," Dudden said. "At Tempe High I know almost everyone."
Besides Tempe High School, Chandler and Queen Creek unified school districts follow modified year-round schedules and start classes July 27 and July 28, respectively. All other East Valley school districts — including the rest of the Tempe Union High School District — will welcome students in the second or third week of August.