Why Extending Breaks Won’t Be Happening This Year

Jasmyne Singleton, News and Opinion Editor

Now that winter is finally over, and the weather changes from the frigid to mild, spring break is all that anyone can talk or think about. Plans are constantly being made and changed, while vacation places are starting to become over booked. Most are looking forward to a relaxing journey, wherever it is they are going. Some look forward to catching up on some studies to improve their grade. There are also few who have nothing to do and nowhere to be, but are just as glad as any to be out of school.

However, with previous online petitions going around, almost all students and teachers ask the same thing: Are we having an extension to our spring break? If not, then what about the end of year? This common question originated from a poll for the FCPS school district to use our untouched snow days as an extra week off school or to be let out earlier. This gradually became popular, giving everyone a hope that this could happen. The Jagwire is here to tell you no the extension won’t be happening, and the reason behind it.

FCPS cares a lot about getting and receiving as much additional help as possible. That being said, they must submit to either the 180 days or 990 hours of in-class time. The 990 hours are only used when severe weather permits it. For the last two years, our school board has been using the 180 days, while just last year they added three more days to account for snow days or other emergencies.

This year, FCPS are going off the 990 hours’ law. Any additional hours are meant to be pushed into days, that can be used in the event of inclement weather. In the winter of last year, we had used up a lot of our added-on days, from days off to late beginnings of the school day, because of the storm. That was the main reason of why we had gotten out of school later than originally planned.

To keep what happened last year from happening this year, an advantage is that now days do not have to be added on at the end. Because of this new system we’re using, no days can be given back. That is only because those additional days are just the excess time beyond 990 hours and, if the days were given back, FCPS would fall short of the required 180-day school year. Not to mention, teachers also have their own personal plans so the hours they work per day are tied in with the amount of school days per year, which also includes teacher workdays.

Having a break should be able to make anyone excited, even if we don’t get out early or have an extra week. There will always be hope for the years to come, but for now let’s look on and try to make our next breaks really count. And who knows, we might even get a few days off this spring, for severe spring weather can always appear and surprise us.