Shortened Spring Break Impacts Students & Staff

Shortened Spring Break Impacts Students & Staff

Argie Dabrowski, Contributing Writer

This past winter, New Jersey experienced a high amount of snow storms, some coming accumulating over a foot in depth. This also led to an increased number of snow days, including seven in the Morris Hills Regional District, two more than the calendar allows. Due to New Jersey laws which state that the school year must be a minimum of 180 days long and the district’s pre-scheduled graduation date, nothing else could be done to remedy this problem, but add in schools days where there were none.

Typically lasting five days, this year’s spring break was cut down to only three, shortening many students’ and teachers’ plans for relaxation. Because the celebration of Good Friday fell right before vacation, there was no school that day, meaning that the district was only really deprived of one break day. While Morris Hills took this common route, other schools throughout the state made up their school days using other methods. Some, like the Penns Grove – Carneys Point Regional School District, added days onto the end of the school year, while others had shortened school hours on Saturday or planned school during spring break, but excused students and teachers with prior plans from their absences. Most notably, some districts planned ahead, making the end of their school year later than necessary to make time for breaks and any excess snow days, such is the case in Washington Township.

Overall, how has losing spring break affected the students and teachers of our district? Studies have proven time and time again that time to relax is crucial for overall mental health, especially in the developing minds of teenagers. spring break is an important time right before SATs and APs for students to collect themselves and begin their rigorous studies right before their exams. For those who were not in school because of previously planned vacations, they missed work and assignments that could arguably be more stressful than missing break. Victoria Ramsay, a Morris Hills junior, was one such student; she went on a cruise during the break. In her words, “It made me a lot more stressed than I normally would be on a typical vacation because I knew as soon as I came back, I would have make-up work on top of the huge amounts of work teachers normally give after breaks.” Not only did students have less time to relax, but even those who did could not fully enjoy their time away from school.

Truly, this loss of spring break time was unexpected and an inconvenience, so hopefully next year we will be lucky enough to avoid such extreme snow conditions.