Last year, winter break started on December 18. This year, however, the break begins on Friday, December 23 and the winter break ends on January 9. Since Christmas falls on December 25 and Hanukkah begins on December 24, this situation is far from ideal for those who celebrate these holidays. Although the situation is undesirable, the alternatives are far worse. The length of winter break has not changed; the main concern for students is simply the early start. Many students, myself included, agree that the period before the holidays is far more enjoyable than the period after due to anticipation of holidays and family traditions in preparation. But, the sacrifices required for making winter break start earlier are not worth it. The decision was reached by both the teachers and the district last year, and had there not have been a pushback towards winter break there would have been an earlier start to the school year in order to balance out the semesters. This change would have been essential for classes that are only taught for only one semester, such as Contemporary World Studies and Health. The earlier start for the school year, which was the only alternative, would have resulted in a shorter summer and less time free time for students since that time would never be made up.
The staff and faculty recognize the difficulties that come with the late start for winter break. Principal Paul Belzer said, “I understand the challenges and stresses for families; we try to get the info early, but I understand the burden for travel.”
Thankfully, this information has been out for a very long time. Students have known about the late start for a while now. Students, parents, and teachers have had ample time to schedule their trips, events, and gatherings around the late start. Also, school does not have to interfere with the hype and excitement felt before the holiday. Students can still experience the same holiday cheer despite school. And overall, we would lose out on time during breaks, which is not worth the early winter break that would come as a result.
Sophomore Matthew Tran reflects a positive attitude, saying, “I don’t really care; it’s still the same length. As long as it isn't shorter, I’m fine.”