We want your opinions

April 08, 2007

THE ISSUE:

Do you like having the weeklong spring break for public school students, or would you prefer a shorter break that would allow students to end the school year a few days earlier?

Shorter break is preferred

I would prefer a shorter spring break for public school students.

I have two sons, ages 5 and 2. My older son is in half-day kindergarten this year and, because of the end of the marking period, he has a total of seven days off from school for this break.

For my son, who has been diagnosed with high-functioning autism, this interruption in his school routine and his education is too long. For me, this is 11 straight days to maintain a routine as best as possible and provide a variety of appropriate activities for a kindergartner and a toddler while not overstimulating them.

Although we're fortunate in Howard County to have many choices for child-appropriate activities, 11 days is a long time when any play time inevitably includes a screaming tug of war over the one toy that both of my sons must play with now.

As a former teacher, I try to consider questions like this one with teachers, parents and students in mind. A shorter break, starting on the Thursday before Easter and continuing through Easter Monday for three days off school and five consecutive days available for traveling, would still give everyone a well-deserved break while minimizing the interruption in our children's education.

More importantly, it would decrease the number of screaming tugs of war for me and my sons.

Heather Tom Ellicott City

Students, teachers need the time off

I'm a high school teacher and I can attest to the fact that the students need the break and so do the teachers. Also, it gives us an opportunity to participate in spring trips, like overseas ones which are cheaper this time of year, and national music competitions.

Ann Rader Columbia

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