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Westerly Stories


Everyone Deserves A Break!

April 08, 2019
By Dr. Plant

Dear Families,

As we embark on our last week of school before Spring Break, I wondered if you are feeling the same restlessness at home that we have felt on campus. I became curious about the research behind school breaks, and while I could have anecdotally told you about the rhythm of the school year and the vitality of breaks from school, here is what the research upholds:

School breaks are a great way for students to decompress. 

As school-days pile up one after the other, the workload does as well.  Children are asked to remain mentally engaged and productive for months on end. The academic break that comes in Spring allows children to metaphorically hit the pressure valve and decompress from stress and pressure to perform.

School breaks allow for a natural reset button for academics.

Leading up to a break, students and teachers can finish units, projects, and assignments and have closure on activities.  This enables both students and teachers to plan and prepare for their final term of the year.

School breaks are pivotal for social and emotional health.

When faced with the same friends and social groups day after day for too long at a time, children (and families) need an opportunity to step away from each other and reset their healthy social dynamics.

School breaks provide necessary reflection time.

Research supports the idea that children need a period of time in between studies to reflect on what they have learned while not being held accountable for absorbing new information. This is a vital step of the long-term learning process.

School breaks are important opportunities for family time.

In the usual humdrum of school-days and the rushed chaos of weekends chock-full of activities, families often do not have many opportunities for shared recreation time together.  School breaks, even for college-aged students, are important times for families to reconnect and have new experiences together.

So, in the spirit of best practices, let's have a great last week of classes before a fun-filled, reflective, a decompressive week with our families and friends!

All my best,