THIS or THAT: Academic habits vs a long break

Should we keep the 3 week break or shorten it?

December 9, 2022

Every few years the Sanger Unified School District conducts a vote which determines the 180 days needed for the instructional calendar. It determines which days the district will observe as holidays and breaks from school. For example, our first day off after the school year begins is Sept. 5 for Labor Day. We get another day on Nov. 11 for Veteran’s Day and the week-long Thanksgiving Break from Nov. 21-25. And then there are several one day holidays and another week for Spring Break in the months between January and June.
During the month of December, students are given three weeks off, which fall within the celebrations of Christmas and New Year’s Day. The break gives students the opportunity to spend time with family and friends and forget the stress of classes and assignments.
Students ultimately return to classes after the holidays. Although, due to the length of the break, students tend to come back in a “less than ready” for schoolwork state.
While beneficial to students for vacation activities, this long amount of time makes them unprepared to return to school. Within the amount of time that passes during the break, students slowly lose the habit of studying and learning which is a setback in terms of their education.
Once students are back in classes however, their previous habits don’t always return so easily. This results in some difficulty getting back to an academic state.
Since the time span of winter break is the main factor for loss of academic motivation, changing the schedule would be beneficial for students who want to keep up academically.
Instead of the three weeks in winter break, the extra time could be used to give students a longer summer vacation. This change would still maintain the days needed for the school year. This adjustment of the holiday break would allow students to maintain their celebrations of Christmas and the New Year.
It would be easier for students to return to their educational routine if the break was shortened. Two weeks allows them to be in a better state of mind, rather than having a winter break that is three weeks long.
It may not be a popular opinion, but the shortening of winter break would benefit students. Two weeks is plenty of time to celebrate and spend time with family.

THIS or THAT: Academic habits vs a long break

In December, students have three weeks off for mental and physical recovery over the winter vacation.
Due to the little time spent in the classroom, some people may argue that winter vacation should be cut short. But this could have a bad effect on a student’s mindset.
Keeping the three week break allows students to spend more time with their families and friends during this time.
Students need to take advantage of winter break to reset their minds. Even a mere 5 or even 50-minutes of sheer relaxation can help students to do better. A longer break renews students’ minds, bodies, boosts their energy, productivity and capacity to concentrate.
The first Sunday in January, which falls during the second week of break is when students will be waiting for the clock to strike midnight and burst into the new year of 2023.
Students will be taking a break from school to spend the day with their families until the clock strikes 12:01 a.m. Both students and staff will be up late celebrating and if the break was only two weeks, everyone would have to return the day after New Year’s Day celebration.
Both teachers and students would lack sufficient time to prepare for their lessons if winter break is cut from three to two weeks.
Teachers have a tendency to overthink things. In addition to dealing with students, they also need more time off to develop new lesson plans.
In addition to getting ready for the upcoming semester, many students and staff also need to take some time for themselves away from school.
December 25 and January 1 aren’t the holidays celebrated by students and staff. Some students’ cultures or religions are observed on different dates and without the extra time, people wouldn’t get to recognize the meaningful celebrations they do every year.
Hanukkah falls on December 18 for those who follow a Judaic religion. More religious holidays are devoted to families, including Bodhi Day and Advent Week. The extra week is much needed because many students are preoccupied with festivies and the time to relax with family and friends.

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