FAC endorses 4-day break for fall 2009

Come October, sophomores are still adjusting to the new atmosphere of the Upper School, juniors are stressing out under more rigorous schedules and seniors are missing classes to visit colleges.  The deans have begun brainstorming a solution to these problems: a four-day weekend in October. 

The Faculty Advisory Committee approved the concept of the resting break but said that it would not be implemented by next year.  The FAC has sent a recommendation to Head of School Jeanne Huybrechts, who will make the ultimate decision.

During the first two months of this year, there was only one day off for the Jewish holidays.  This is because Rosh Hashanah was the only High Holiday to take place on a weekday.  The only other day off from school was the day of the PSAT, which all sophomores and juniors are required to take. Upper School Dean Jonathan Wimbish said that it would be unfair to just endure this year and wait for future years when the Jewish holidays fell on more school days.

“They are not days off for everyone,” he said.  For those practicing the religion, there are many commitments during the day, such as going to temple.
Having two days off in October would give seniors a time to catch up on their first quarter work as well as offer them extra time to go visit colleges they are interested in before applying.  Each senior is currently allotted three days during the year to miss school and visit college campuses.  Students wishing to exceed these three days must fill out a petition for any extra college visiting days. 

Seniors missing school is among many issues the deans hope to address with the additional break. It is still early in the process and there is much potential for what the break will ultimately do. Ideas that have been discussed include having activities on campus and letting the Community Council plan a community service event.