FCPS parents and staff reject proposals to shorten spring break for coming two years

Discussions stir around the best length for Spring break


Phoebe Shi

RCMS students leave for Spring break on March 31.

In the past few years, spring break has taken the form of a week-long school holiday near Easter, but many school counties are beginning to shorten spring break. According to FCPS’s draft school calendars, spring break will not be shortened in the coming two years, but it’s still a possibility for the future. 

Along with the length of spring break, the timing of the break also is important. Some parents believe spring break should rotate with Easter, while others think spring break should be the same time every year.  

“I like that it’s always near Easter, because I’m Christian, and that’s one of the biggest celebrations in our faith,” said Mrs. Natalie Debaldo, a seventh-grade math teacher.

According to a presentation from FCPS, students were willing to shorten spring break by one day, but teachers were not. Spring break affects teachers and students differently, and multiple teachers have shown to be against spring break changing from how it is right now.

“It’s challenging when it doesn’t align with other counties. Some teachers live in other counties where the spring break might be different,” said Ms. Devyn Wilcox-Grimes, the orchestra director of RCMS. “That leads to a struggle with childcare.”

Along with these struggles, teachers also just want to enjoy spring break and relax.

“I think it’s important that we get a break before SOL testing, because sometimes we can feel like test overload with the VGA, and the RI, and all the other tests we’re taking,” said Ms. Olivia Adams, a seventh-grade English teacher. “It’s a great time to travel with family as well, so I love spring break, and I definitely enjoyed spring break this year.”

One thing to remember about the length of spring break, is that it affects when the school year ends. Shortening spring break would let us end school earlier.

“If it were to give us the opportunity to shorten the school year and not go into almost July, then absolutely I’m for it,” said Mrs. Debaldo. “I feel like once SOLs are finished, the vibe in the school is like that school is over. If we’re in school until the end of June, it just makes it difficult, especially when the content is finished.”

Students also are mostly against the shortening of spring break. According to a survey, 55.8 percent of students thought spring break should be more than a week, and 36.4 percent of students thought spring break should be a week. Only 7.8 percent of students thought it should be shorter than a week.

“I do enjoy spring break, and I enjoy having that break in our school year, but I also think that there’s not that much of a difference between spring break and just a long weekend. It’s maybe only a few days longer, so I think it should be longer,” said Veer Sawhney, a seventh-grader on the Trailblazers team.

Right in the beginning of the testing season, spring break also offers an opportunity for students to either start preparing for SOLS and Finals, or take a break from studying. Students cherish this time for relaxation, and would likely not react well to the break being shortened. 

“I’m gonna be completely honest,” said Austyn Kim, a seventh-grader on the Mavericks team, “it might make a lot of people mad, especially since a lot of people are looking forward to a week-long break.”

Diya Kotha, also a seventh-grader on the Maverick team, agrees that shortening spring break would not make students happy.

“I feel like it would impact them in a negative way, because they might not be as focused the rest of the year,” Diya said.

Even though a lot of students think shortening spring break is a bad idea, another suggestion is to have more frequent short breaks in the year, instead of lumping all of the break days into Winter, Spring, and Summer break. 

“Spring break really is like a light at the end of the tunnel,” said Ms. Adams.