North Star News

Niles North High School | Skokie, IL

North Star News

Niles North High School | Skokie, IL

North Star News

Give me a break: Thanksgiving Break is too short, students and staff need time to relax

D219+students+and+staff+receive+Nov.+22-24+off+for+Thanksgiving+Break.
Penelope Roewe
D219 students and staff receive Nov. 22-24 off for Thanksgiving Break.

The dreaded Monday and Tuesday before Thanksgiving Break. These two days should go by quickly in theory, but with the anticipation of the holidays, they’re all the more unbearable. It’s so hard to focus during these days, awaiting the first “break” of the year, which feels more like a long weekend than anything. The stress bears so much weight on the shoulders of both students and staff. If we had the whole week off, everyone would come back fully recharged and ready to battle the rest of the semester. 

Students are loaded with tests in every class in an effort to finish the break with no lingering content left over. Students are checked out and unproductive, which results in poor test performance, making the time before the holidays even more stressful. 

Junior Timmy Garcia struggled with his teachers giving out tests in the days leading up to break. 

“I was really stressed, I had three tests on Friday, and it was really bad,” Garcia said. “I know a lot of other people had the same thing, where they had all these tests in one day… Every teacher wants to get their [tests] out before the break because they’re worried students will forget stuff over the long break.”

I was really stressed, I had three tests on Friday, and it was really bad. I know a lot of other people had the same thing, where they had all these tests in one day.

— Timmy Garcia, junior

Giving students a full week for Thanksgiving Break allows them to relax, which is especially necessary as the weeks following the break are intense due to upcoming final exams. Students can use this time to rejuvenate and even start studying at a steady pace, easing into finals season. Attending two days of school during this week doesn’t prepare students well for the rest of the semester. 

Adding Monday and Tuesday to the break would almost be like a school-wide mental health day. While all students have the opportunity to take mental health days during the school year, there are always the consequences of falling behind because of missing class, thus leading to even more stress. By giving the whole week off, students and staff can have the opportunity to unwind without falling behind in their classes. 

Not only are these two days a struggle for students but staff also feel the effects of this short break.

The structure of our district school calendar doesn’t provide a lot of days off, and that’s important for both student and staff well-being and mental health.

— Jacqueline Ehrlich, science teacher

“The structure of our district school calendar doesn’t provide a lot of days off,” science teacher Jacqueline Ehrlich said. “And that’s important for both student and staff well-being and mental health. I also think for staff this week, a lot of schools in the community have the full week off. So it puts a really big burden on staff that have to find childcare for their students, their children that are out of the school, but they still have to prepare at work. Now they have to pay for outside childcare, and organize all of that.”

Thanksgiving is a time for gratitude, food, and family. Students and staff cannot enjoy the perks of the holiday when they are stressed with schoolwork and other time conflicts. With a whole week off for the break, the Niles North community could come back ready for a strong finish for the semester. 

 

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About the Contributor
Penelope Roewe, Managing Editor & Opinion Editor
Penelope is a junior and this is her third year on NSN, serving as Managing Editor and the Opinions and Photos editor. She loves to express her opinions through writing. In her free time, she enjoys listening to music, watching Gilmore Girls, and reading books.

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