By McKenna Rueter
If you have plans to go away on spring break, you may need to reconsider. The Howard County Board approved the 2017-2018 school calendar to have spring break to run from April 15-22. With three of these spring break days designated for the use of inclement weather makeup days.
A controversy has grown into the talk around the school and has raised attention to the pros and cons of the new spring break plan. Different students saying they are displeased with the new plans and others are still taking their vacations as planned.
The pros of the shortened spring break include instructional momentum and an earlier end of the school year. Most students will often forget the topics being covered before spring break and struggle to get back on track coming back to school. Teachers will then struggle to plan their curriculum with the lack of focus and attention their students pay forth.
The three make up days in the break will bring the end of the school year closer for students and teachers. Most students would much rather have a shorter spring break to get out sooner as Rachel Montgomery, 11th grade, said “In the moment I’m super excited to have the day off to sleep, but at the end of the year I am always very antsy to get out of school and regret all the snow days I wanted.” Increasing the amount of days for summer break rather than off during the school year is seen as the more preferable choice for some students.
Although many students want a shorter spring break, Seniors would prefer as many days off during the school year due to their graduation date being set. Seniors are released in May so the amount of snow days do not have an impact on their release date.
The cons of a shorter break many families plan may have to be altered. Parents plan spring break excursions far in advance to see family and go on vacations out of state. These plans may be complicated and become very pricey with cancellations of hotels and flights. If parents do not cancel the trips students could lose several days, putting them behind in their classes.
Olivia Browne, an 11th grade student, planned to visit many different colleges during spring break and says “My plans to visit may be canceled because my mom doesn’t want me to miss too much school. I was really looking forward to visit but it may not be possible without much time.” A shorter spring break would take away opportunities away from students to visit colleges they potentially would like to apply to.
Taking days away from spring break would also deprive students of a mental break from school in order to rejuvenate and recuperate from the weeks of hard work. Some students argue they will get tired out and perform poorly compared to having time to relax and come back to school ready to work.
The new spring break schedule brings many pros and cons the students and parents can focus on, but differing opinions will always arise. Keeping the curriculum going and having the school year end earlier will benefit all members of the school in academic performance which is the goal of the Howard County Board. Taking steps to improve the school one action at a time.