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First day of school for L.A. schools; caution urged for motorists

August 14, 2012 |  7:32 am

Students are heading back to school Tuesday across the Los Angeles Unified School District in what officials say is the earliest start ever for the local school year.

Kindergarteners through high schoolers are starting classes three weeks earlier than the traditional first day for L.A. schools, just after Labor Day. The early start calendar has been in place already for about 20 schools, mostly in the San Fernando Valley, but is now being launched districtwide.

School officials say the early start will allow students to complete the first semester before the winter break, allowing students, teachers and parents a more relaxed vacation. And school will end May 31, earlier than in previous years.

“The early-start calendar allows students to complete their first semester prior to winter break, which has been shown to have a positive impact on final examinations and grades,” Superintendent John Deasy said in a statement. “Many of the high schools in the Valley that have been on the early start schedule the past few years have reported that it is popular with parents and students.”

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is expected to visit several schools Tuesday to welcome students back, including the Santee Education Complex, Sunrise Elementary and the Hilda L. Solis Learning Academy. 

And with school back in session, the California Highway Patrol urges drivers to take extra care near school facilities: Stop for school buses, yield at crosswalks and slow down.


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-- Rebecca Trounson

Photo: Diomenes Gutierrez takes a photo of his daughters Destiny, 9, center, and Natalie, 8, as they arrive for the first day of school at Miramonte Elementary School in Los Angeles. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times