Students deserve longer, stress-free breaks


Art by Bernadette Mercurio

Thanksgiving break is a wonderful time of the year when families can gather, travel and have a break from school and stress. However, having school on the Monday and Tuesday before Thanksgiving is inconvenient for families who wish to travel to visit extended family, siblings in college, or just go on vacation. This problem could be solved easily by giving students a break for the entire week of Thanksgiving and ending school merely two days later in June. The brief five days of Thanksgiving break would then become nine full days.
Families who travel often feel restricted by the length of Thanksgiving break. Those who visit family that lives far away essentially waste days. If there were no school on Monday and Tuesday, travelers would only have to worry about traveling two of the nine days off. Especially after not seeing extended family due to the pandemic, people need to spend quality time together.
Assistant Principal Mr. Mike Field, on the other hand, states, “There are mandated 176 calendar days by the Illinois Board of Education. When building out the calendar, our goal is to balance the two semesters as much as possible when threading in breaks, federal holidays, parent-teacher conferences, institute days, and finals. Moving the two school days out of Thanksgiving break would shift the first or last day of school or take away off-days already built into the school year.”
Many students, however, would benefit from having a full week off for Thanksgiving, rather than the end of the school year being two days earlier or the start of the next school year being two days later. Giving students two more days off would also benefit their mental health and give them an opportunity to relax.
According to Scientific American, “Downtime replenishes the brain’s stores of attention and motivation, encourages productivity and creativity, and is essential to both achieve our highest levels of performance and simply form stable memories in everyday life.” This means students would come back to school more empowered to strive than they would with the current schedule.
An increase to nine days of Thanksgiving break would greatly benefit students by giving them an opportunity to spend quality time with their families and get them prepared for the final stretch of the semester.