Give Me A Break: Additional School Days Are Futile

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Damian McCoig

Winter in MCPS means lots of snow, leading to plentiful cancellations.

Kara Peeler, Editor-In-Chief

As winter weather comes full force into Maryland, snow days begin to “pile” up. So far, the school year has been extended to June 14, and students must now attend school on June 5 which was previously a professional day. Additional snow remains in the forecast this winter, and it brings the question: What happens next?

MCPS has identified April 17 and April 18 as two more possible make-up days, meaning that more cancellations could mean a shortened spring break. MCPS has also said that instead of cutting spring break, they may extend the school year to the week of June 17, although this could contradict Gov. Larry Hogan’s previous school scheduling mandate.

However, these additional school days are likely futile. Many students are unlikely to attend school on these days. Towards the end of the year or closer to summer and spring break, students may simply skip these make-up days.

“I think everyone will stop caring. Once June 15th comes in, I don’t think anyone is going to come,” sophomore Madison Sebastian said.

Students may not be able to attend school due to previous plans; families could already have plans that may prohibit their students from attending school on these added days.

“People may have already booked their trips so if they’re going, they’re going,” sophomore Simone Acquaye said.

As if this unpromising attendance outlook were not enough to deter the county from future excessive make-up days, stripping students of their full summer and spring break may overwork them.

“I know these snow days are a blessing because no school….but for the sake of your break being taken away, your hard-earned break, honestly, I kind of hate it,” Sebastian said. “It also cuts off summer vacation which kids should be enjoying.”

Not to mention that classes on these make-up days are less likely to be productive or academically beneficial.

“I’m not sure how much extra we’re going to get out of the day,” science teacher Lori Martioski-Taylor said about make-up days after June 15.

These last minute additions to the school calendar make lessons difficult for teachers because so many students, especially seniors, will not be present.

“It would have been nice if the county or the board or whoever made the schedule had made more snow days in ahead, so we’re not trying to tack on at the end when seniors or others aren’t in the building,” Martioski-Taylor said.

These additional school days aren’t going to make up for lost instructional time like the county wanted. Students will be overworked, and may not even be able to attend the make-up days. When additional days only bring consequences, it is clear what is necessary. MCPS must work to avoid these unnecessary days in the future, allotting more snow days to avoid calendar adjustments.