Walpole Should Consider Two-Week March Break

Having a longer break allows for more stress relief

Cate Stanton, Editor-in-Chief

In a typical school year, Walpole Public Schools (WPS) have three vacation breaks per year: one in December, one in February and one in April. However, more and more schools are moving away from the multiple, week-long breaks in February and April and substituting them for a two week break in March. The two week March break has more benefits than expected, and WPS should consider the change. 

When students are given one week off, it is often too short to actually relax and debrief from school. During school breaks, many students end up picking up more shifts at their job or taking driver’s education rather than just relaxing. Students at Walpole High especially are very busy throughout the year taking eight classes per semester with hours of homework to complete as well as extracurricular activities after school. This puts students at a constant level of high stress. The one week break goes by quickly and does not give students enough time to get away from the stress of their school work. 

“From someone that has experienced both the week-long breaks in February and April as well as the two week break in March, I would say the March break is better,” Roxbury Latin School seventh grader Thomas Stanton said. “The March break gives you way more time to get away from school for a while and just relax.”

Having one longer break is less disruptive to learning. Right before each break in December, February and April, teachers often give tests in every class, which brings more stress to students. Not to blame teachers, this is an ideal time for a test, right before students go on break and forget about everything they learned the week before. The March break saves teachers time from reviewing the material that was taught before break because students forgot. It also saves students from an extra week of high stress, studying for and taking tests everyday.

Both the February and April breaks also fall during sports seasons every year. Students who participate in sports continue to have practices everyday, often in the mornings, which can take away from the much needed rest. Instead of catching up on sleep, students continuously wake up early for practice. However, a two week March break would change this, as the break would likely fall right in between the winter and spring sports seasons. This also would make it easier for families to travel during vacation weeks. Typically, high school students are not allowed to miss practices or games for vacation, so with a two week break in March, more families would be able to travel without missing sports. 

Families can also plan longer vacations during this two week break as well as coordinating vacations with their children in college. College spring breaks normally fall during these middle two weeks in March, which would now make it available for them to join the family vacation. Overall, the benefits of the two week break in March should definitely be considered for WPS as they plan out next year’s schedule.