Staff Editorial: Extended winter break valuable for Park

Adjustment gives opportunity for students to prioritize mental health


Henry Harper

After a winter storm, senior Evan Rosald brushes off a car Dec. 10. According to Superintendent Astein Osei, two extra days will be added to winter break in order to alleviate student and staff stress.

For the mental health and physical well-being of all students and staff, the School Board has unanimously made a decision to change winter break to a full two weeks. The previous plan was Park holding school on Dec. 20 and Dec. 21 before break. The Echo Editorial Board believes adding these two days off will be of great benefit to students as well as staff, to collectively recover and rest from the fatigue of the school year. 

This year has been particularly difficult, with transitioning back to full in-person and still continually dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. Students and staff alike are in need of time off. Especially in such a challenging time, prioritizing mental health is critical and the full two week break provides significant time to alleviate stress. 

In addition, short weeks before any breaks have always seen decreased numbers of students in classrooms, with families traveling for the holidays or students just not attending. With everyone fixated on making it through the week to get to a much needed break, those days feel unnecessary in most classes. While these days are generally unproductive, to avoid extending the school year later into summer, the Echo Editorial Board believes that all other breaks should stay the same length.   

Although the Echo Editorial Board believes this break will be beneficial for everyone, this decision should have been made earlier in the school year as a decline in mental health could have been anticipated. Many teachers have already set up deadlines during those two days and those due dates potentially could be moved sooner, which would add further pressure for students. This may interfere with teachers’ lesson plans and lead to assignments being crammed into the week before break.

The Echo Editorial Board believes all students should take advantage of this extra time off to prioritize their health by taking a break from screens and spending time outside.