Shortening the February Break

Alaina Galasso, Opinions Editor

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The usual three-day February break was shortened to two days for next year at the board meeting on April 3. The LISD staff development time and student holiday will be only two days to try to lower the number of absences surrounding the break, because they cost the district about $196,844 this year.

Eliminating a day from February conference is an efficient and smart way to save the district money and encourage student attendance.

Changing the February break to two days will lower high absence rates. This year there was a total of 35,281 student absences in Leander ISD surrounding the February break. On the Friday before the break there was a total of  1,729 absences and on the Thursday returning from the break there was a total of 3,509 absences from the Four Points Area alone. These absences are mainly unexcused because they are related to students traveling to or from vacation. Shortening the break to two days will ensure that students choose a longer break to vacation or shorten their trip to get back in time for school.

Lowering the absent rate surrounding February break will save money for the district. When a single child is absent it is estimated to cost the district $37.58 for that day. This year the district lost about $196,844 total with $56,257 from the Four Points area alone. Eliminating a day from the February break will save the district this extra money that can be put to use for other things such as new technologies and school renovations.

Encouraging student attendance is important for the district. Students need face to face time with their teachers and interaction with their peers to have the education experience they will need in college and life. Families should use scheduled breaks for vacations instead of cutting into school days. Making that week three days will encourage students to be back for vital instruction time.

Changing the February break to two days will be unpopular among students because they are used to having three days off, but the three-day school week will be more productive for both the students and the teachers. Teachers could try to plan more entertaining and creative projects during this time to encourage student attendance. Students should accept the decision and understand why attendance is important. Shortening the February Conference will help lower absence rates, save the district money and encourage student attendance.

HAALAND, LYNETTE. “LISD lost $56K from Four Points due to high absences around
Winter Break, 2015 calendar changed to two-day break.” Four Points News.
N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2014. <http://www.fourpointsnews.com/>.

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