The Long Road to Recovery

By Tara Higgins

At the beginning of the year, a two-week spring break might sound appealing compared to just one, with more time to enjoy the weather and all the benefits which spring offers.

But it doesn’t take long for students to realize that all the time off can actually be too much. All those days off have to add up to something, and for us it ends up with finals week extending into June.

Every year, the Board of Education approves a set of calendars, with each school in the district selecting the schedule best suited to its feeder area. A collaborative effort between feeder areas, Legend will once again be following the split-fall break modified calendar for the 2015-2016 school year.

And once again, Legend remains the only high school in Douglas County School District that uses it. The other eight high schools follow the conventional school calendar.

The conventional calendar does not include a full week off for Thanksgiving, which Legend students wisely take advantage of. But although it offers students fewer days off, it does give them a longer summer – by one week.

Still, one week can be a huge difference. And it seems the battle between more time off during the year and a shorter summer versus less time off during the year and a longer summer is set to continue in the years to come.

The breaks in the school year come at the most inopportune times, coinciding with end-of-unit tests, projects, and work to be completed over break introducing the next unit. Most breaks cause more stress in the week leading up to it, which doesn’t dissipate once break actually starts.

Spending two weeks outside enjoying spring only makes it harder to come back to school and focus, with teachers piling on homework, ACT testing, and the upcoming AP tests in may.

With everything we already have to deal with, a homework-free spring break would be perfect. Most teachers agree they can afford to lose one week of school at this critical time of the year, but two weeks is just too much to deal with, and so they dutifully distribute all the work in order to compensate for the time they will be losing (and while they’re at it, two weeks offers twice the amount of time to do work, and so why not just give twice the work to begin with).

It’s been a week already, and we’re still struggling to get back into the daily school schedule. Sometimes the best way to relieve students is to give them less time off to be completely free of worry and the burden of work, as opposed to giving them two weeks to stress out over growing piles of papers, computer files, and research projects. In this case, it’s the only way we’ll ever have a chance of recovering.

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