Students and staff take advantage of opportunity to travel and relax in extended winter vacation

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Andrew Vester, Staff Writer

A 12-and-a-half day winter break begins with a half day on Dec. 23, giving Staples students and staff the break that they have been waiting for.

This timing will also give the students observing Hanukkah two nights to celebrate without schoolwork looming over their heads, as the  final nights of the holiday will occur during the winter recess.

New Year’s Day falls on the Thursday of the following week, and, as a result, it was decided that returning to school on a Friday would not be useful. Therefore, students will return to school on Monday, Jan. 5, making the vacation the longest possible break.

A break of this length has not occurred in years, and the next time it is due to occur is the 2019-2020 school year.  By that time, the class of 2018 will already be freshmen in college.

The extended length of this break has led many students to take vacations longer than they normally have in past years or to partake in different activities.

“My family normally stays home for the holidays,” Fleur Byrne ’17 said.  “But because of the extension, we might go skiing for a weekend.”

Byrne isn’t the only member of the Staples community who plans on doing something different this winter break.  Social studies teacher Drew Coyne plans on taking advantage of the extra time this vacation as well.

“I am going to see my family in Rochester, New York, and I’m also planning on going to Charleston, South Carolina,” Coyne said.  “And with a normal length break, I would only have time for one of those.”

While there are people like Kristina Wasserman ’17, who is going to “travel farther away” than she normally does, many students will be spending this break similarly to previous years.

“I won’t be doing anything different this break, even though it is longer than normal,” Jackson Delgado ’17 said.  “I just plan on taking advantage of the extra time to sleep and hang out with friends.”

Even as students enjoy the long vacation, some feel that the approaching reality of midterms will take away from the holiday cheer.

“I know I, for one, along with probably many other students, will be worried throughout the course of the holidays of the midterm exams looming in the future,” Byrne said.  “And studying for these will take away from time that I could be spending with my family.”

Although students will be spending their breaks in a variety of ways, many members of the community feel the vacation will provide a much appreciated break.

“This break gives students the time they need to relax and decompress from the fall,” Coyne said. “And as long as they enjoy being with their family and the season, then it will make for a great break.”