MCPS, give more of a break, not less

Observer Opinion

As the third quarter of the school year finishes up, many students are still relishing their fond memories of their recent Spring Break. It may also be the last time that seniors travel with their friends before going off to college.

However, the new proposed school calendar for 2018-2019 has shortened spring break to just a four-day long weekend. MCPS should not cut down holidays, since break provides a time to vacation and spend time with family, as well as giving staff and students a well-deserved break from the rigorous school year.

According to a 2015 Mental Health America article, rates of youth with severe depression increased from 5.9 percent in 2012 to 8.2 percent in 2015.

Spring Break is just one example of MCPS shortening school holidays. Other victims have included Winter Break and religious holidays. Decreasing students’ time off from school increases stress. CHS is a place that is infamous for its high-stress environment, so students should be given a sufficient amount of breaks for the betterment of their mental health.

According to a 2016 Huffington Post article, taking breaks from work decreases stress and increases productivity.

It is no surprise that teens’ time with their family has decreased with the increased use of technology. Having a break from stressful homework, allows students to spend healthy time with loved ones.

According to a 2012 Penn State News article, time with parents is important for a teen’s well-being. Teens who spent more time with their parents had better social skills with peers, and teens who spent more time alone with their parents had higher self-esteem.

The reason for the break cuts is the later start of the school year. However, most students would much rather the school year start at the same time as previous years if it means more time for breaks in between.

Also, Spring Break is an opportunity for juniors to visit colleges. By shortening the time off, juniors will have less time off to visit colleges, and will have to miss school in order to do so, thus negatively impacting their academics.

Spring Break serves as an oasis for CHS students. It is a chance for students take a break from the stress of high school and spend time with loved ones. By shortening this, MCPS is hurting students’ mental health. Lowered mental health will ultimately lead to a decrease in quality of performance of students.

There should be a stop to these dangerous actions.