OPINION: School Calendars May Need Re-Thinking?

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OPINION: School Calendars May Need Re-Thinking?

Carylin Rivera, Reporter

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NEWSROOM/OPINION-  Our school year, with holidays and weekends excluded, is much shorter than we think.  There are roughly 160 some-odd school days.

If I was in charge of creating the school calendar I would deem 34 or so vacation days as too few having (this doesn’t including summer break) on an academic calendar.  For the amount of time we students and faculty spend at school everyday, varying from 7-14 hours (depending on participation in long-term after-school activities like evening sports, plays and other commitments), we deserve more time off.

There should be a slight increase in the amount of days we have off because having to do so much work everyday during and after school can be mentally and physically straining.  But, Sean Kondracki, junior, believes that “added days of break to our calendar will not change much but would definitely be nice to have.”

One teacher who asked to remain anonymous likely spoke for other adults when (s)he said that students “have more time off by virtue of their ability to socialize digitally.  While we may over-schedule kids, they are doing just fine over-scheduling themselves too.  So the change needs to be comprehensive to the extent that there is a problem here.”

Some school systems do recognize a problem.

Schools have been known to experiment with a “6-weeks on; 2-weeks off” approach to learning.  Some of these calendars would mean 12-month school years, but with many more breaks throughout.  What is unclear is how prepared students, teachers and families are to this somewhat radical new approach, given that it impacts seasons, semester-systems and other timing issues.

Mainly, it seems like our breaks are just too spaced apart.  Students that have more frequent breaks in school would benefit greatly because they would be able to take time, to not focus on school and do things like volunteering or catching up on much needed sleep.

Most schools have a year of 180 days.  This means we could have 13 days scattered throughout our school year devoted to much needed mini-breaks.  

In any event, much of what we do we do because we have always done it that way.  Maybe it’s time to re-think it?….if only we had a break to think it over…

Story by Carylin Rivera, Reporter

Edited by Ted Frascella, Editor in Chief

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