On Thursday, November 15, IPS made the unexpected decision to shorten fall break for the 2019-2020 academic school year. Next year, students will have one week of break in October, from the 14th through the 17th. Students will return to school on Monday, October 21st. According to IPS, the rationale behind the decision is to even out the days of student attendance between the first and second semesters. The eliminated week from fall break will be added to summer vacation in 2020.
“This also allowed us to achieve a significantly greater balance between the first semester of student attendance and instruction and second semester,” says IPS Director of Special Projects, Joe Gramelspacher. “Went from 89 days in semester one and 101 in semester two to 94:96 ratio between the two semesters.”
When inquiring students and staff about their opinion on the changes for next year, the student media team received mixed reactions. Most of the staff interviewed expressed support for the shorter fall break, so long as it is in the best interest of the students.“I found out through my colleagues,” said Ms.Ziegler, a SHS counselor. “I feel like those two weeks are well deserved. However, we have such short summers, which shortens the time to prepare for the fall.”
To our surprise, several of the SHS staff members were actually unaware of the changes that have been made to next year’s fall break at the time of being interviewed. When asked about how she first found out about the changes, Ms.T, a teacher here at Shortridge replied, “From my wonderful student media crew!” We further questioned Ms.T about how she felt regarding these changes, to which she replied, “Now I’m kind of sad! I was going to plan a trip for that time next year. I have mixed emotions right now, but I think it’s good for the students not to be out for that long.”
When interviewing Dylan, a sophomore here at SHS, he also expressed a concern for what would be happening next. “I wonder what else will be changing,” Dylan told us, “Will they shorten all of our breaks?”
While it will certainly take some getting used to for students and families who accustomed to two week breaks in the fall, the new change creates opportunities to look forward to. In addition to a longer summer vacation, students, staff, and families can look forward to an easier transition between semesters in the 2019-2020 school year that are now a little more even.