Calendar changes for 2016-2017 school year cause grief

During the cold, dark winter months of January and February, it’s reassuring to think about the upcoming break, during which I will be taking a trip to the beach or my couch. Yet, due to Connecticut state regulations, this will no longer be an option for me or any other Staples students.

As of the 2016-2017 school year, Staples High School will be shortening February break to a long weekend in order to comply with a state mandated common calendar.

According to the Hartford Courant, this new calendar is supposed to help districts save money on buses and professional development costs. However, there are, in fact, quite a few reasons why this change of schedule would have more negative effects than positive ones.

For one, many students need a full February break for college visits. Often, this week is a junior’s only opportunity to go on a long-distance trip to California, Chicago or Canada. Cutting down the break will only make it harder for these kids to find their dream school.

Furthermore, a change in the schedule could be potentially harmful to the kids. According to Craig Cooke, superintendent of the Windsor Public Schools, being in school without a full break from January to April may cause students to burnout and suffer from fatigue or illness.

Everyone, including myself, needs a break every couple months in order to refresh and get excited for the rest of the year. This is the reason for the calendar structure in the first place; it ensures that no student has to be in school for more than two months straight. After all, not many students, or teachers for that matter, complain about having too many breaks.

Lastly, some may give the argument that removing February break would leave students a longer summer and that the days eventually even out in the end. And although this may seem to be true, we need to remember that slicing down break only really adds three or four more days.

When I look at it that way, it seems almost obvious that having a full week off during one of the most dreary months would benefit me more than getting out on June 16 versus June 19.

Who really wants to go to school during February anyways?