Staff Ed: Students and staff require break to end fall semester stress

November 5, 2008 — by Neyha Bhat, Alicia Lee, Jenny Zhang

As students and teachers enter the seventh week of the school year, many are beginning to feel the accumulated stress of almost two grading periods without a break. The schedule this year does not give a day off for 10 weeks between Labor Day and Veteran’s Day on Nov. 11. This has left both students and staff in need of a break.

Ambitious seniors are most affected by this lack of a break. The onslaught of college applications for seniors, combined with extracurricular activities and school responsibilities, makes it difficult for them to balance their time. A break in the first 10 weeks of school would give all seniors extra time to catch up on applications and homework and teachers a chance to write letters of recommendation and grade tests.

Although the current lack of any break impacts seniors the most, all students can use a break this time of year. Homecoming, which typically provides this break, was early this year. As a result, what should have been a fun-filled week of decorating and dancing instead turned out to be stressful, as it coincided with the first six-week grading period came to a close.

The end of the first grading period marked many tests and projects for students in all grades, as teachers hoped to give a realistic impression of where their classes stood. The deadline to drop a class followed only one week later—this heightened the sense of urgency felt by instructors to place more points in students overall grades. The extra work decreased Homecoming decoration attendance and spirit during the week at school. Increased stress levels of student body and staff would have been dramatically reduced with a short break preceding or following Homecoming week.

Although the numerous holidays later on in the year are greatly appreciated, the administration should consider placing a short break in October, when students and staff require it most. A possibility for next year could be for a break on Columbus Day, the second Monday of October, so students could benefit from a long weekend.

2 views this week