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The Skyline Post

The Skyline Post

The Skyline Post

Why Skyline Is the Only AAPS High School With Trimesters

Skyline has been on the trimester system since it opened in 2008 (except during COVID). Credit: Henry Remington.

Huron, Pioneer, and Community all have semesters. Skyline does not. Since the school’s opening 15 years ago, Skyline has been on a trimester schedule along with K-8 school A2 Steam.

“There was a team of individuals about two years before [Skyline] opened, around 20-25 people from the community,” said Jeff Oleksinski, Skyline math teacher and department chair.  “Our goal was to look at the magnet programs, small learning communities…and how we are going to run our professional development if we were going to adopt trimesters.  There wasn’t just one person involved in the decision and it wasn’t only by administration either. It was just a community of people.” 

This group was responsible for building Skyline’s academic policies from the ground up. 

“They brought these people together and said let’s try and think of what we want, what vision we had for Skyline,” said Oleksinski. “We did a lot of research.  We looked at trimesters all over the country. We had some teachers that were traveling to other schools in different states…checking out their systems and asking tons of questions, like what are the benefits, and also what are the things that are going to make [trimesters] more difficult. We laid out all of our options.” 

Trimesters are beneficial for a number of reasons. Firstly, they are good for recovery if you need credits because students are able to earn a lot more credits with trimesters. “You can earn seven and a half credits a year versus six credits a year [with semesters].” With these extra credits, trimesters give you a lot more elective options.

You need 22 credits to graduate high school, but you will likely get a lot more at Skyline. “Some students will literally graduate early because they have so much credit,” said Oleksinski.”Sometimes it is only like the last term that they don’t go in [to school]. Or sometimes it is the last two terms. Sometimes though they will be done after junior year.”

At Skyline you get to have five classes instead of six or seven classes at a time. Having five classes also allows students to have less homework and more time in class to work on assignments. “[The planning team] decided on trimesters because it gave students and teachers longer class periods to be able to go deeper and do more labs and hands-on activities with the extra time,” said Interim Principal Casey Elmore.

Although there are a lot of good things there are also some drawbacks. Trimesters mean that you have to take finals three times. “At Huron, you are going to take six finals twice a year, potentially. Whereas [at Skyline] you are going to take five finals three times a year. So you have to take more finals, but you get more credits,” Oleksinski said. 

Skyline students have differing opinions on the trimester class periods. “I wish that classes were shorter. Maybe around 50 minutes,” said Garrett Comer (‘27). 

Nick Yuan (‘27) also agrees that classes should be shorter. “I also wish that my classes were shorter too. Five classes but for just like one hour,” said Yuan. “I wish that we had the Skytime bell schedule all the time.”

Other students like having trimesters. “I like having more classes and more time to be able to spend more time with my friends,” said Liam Duck (‘24).

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About the Contributor
Henry Remington, Writer

Henry Remington ('27) is a writer for the Skyline Post. In his free time, he enjoys playing soccer and basketball.