LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — More than 600,000 Los Angeles Unified School District students will return to the classroom Tuesday, approximately three weeks earlier than usual.

“The early-start calendar allows students to complete their first semester prior to winter break,” said Superintendent John Deasy, “which has been shown to have a positive impact on final examinations and grades. 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.”

Last summer, the Board of Education approved an early start date for the nation’s second-largest school district, which had previously been implemented by about 20 San Fernando Valley schools.

Three “multi-track” schools in the district will not adhere to the early schedule — Del Olmo Elementary, Cahuenga Elementary and Bell High School.

LAUSD will also open 20 new schools Tuesday.

“We’ve got 19,500 new seats that are available for us,” said Mark Hovatter LAUSD Interim Chief Facilities Executive. “It allows us to fulfill our promise that we made 10 years ago that we were going to get everyone off year-round school and allow them to go to a school in their neighborhood, so they didn’t have to get on a bus and travel across town.”

The new campuses are environmentally friendly with some even featuring solar panels.

“What it has meant for our students is more space more attention on instruction,” LAUSD School Board President Monica Garcia said.

The 2012-13 school year will end Friday, May, 31, about two weeks earlier than in previous years.

A 10 a.m. news conference with district officials and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has been planned to discuss the beginning of the school year.

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