Students are ‘stuffing’ Thanksgiving week with studies


Audrey Swenson

Some students use Thanksgiving break to study for fast-approaching finals.

It’s that time of year. As the grocery stores run out of pie and the retail shops prepare for their biggest sales of the year, families come together to give thanks on a day fittingly known as Thanksgiving.

However, many students are unable to enjoy the holiday to the fullest extent as they are preoccupied with school.

“During Thanksgiving, you realize how close to finals you are, and you have to make sure your grades are where you want them to be,” said Alex Hyder, a sophomore.

With final exams looming as the semester comes to a close, many students wonder why Sequoia Union High School District (SUHSD) schools don’t have the entire week off. Schools in Alameda, Palo Alto, and San Francisco Unified School District have the whole week off for Thanksgiving break.

While some find the two days of school before break to be pointless, history teacher David Braunstein believes that towards the end of the semester, every day counts.

“One way or another, we are going to get work in … and work hard on those two days,” Braunstein said.

Regardless of how many days the break lasts, some families choose to take their students on vacation early to utilize the full nine days available.

Sophia Boynton, sophomore, said, “I drive to Murphys, California to spend time with my family over Thanksgiving break and may miss school to get there.”

Students like Boynton may spend most of their holiday traveling or with family, and then end up having to cram in homework on Saturday and Sunday.

The issue with having a full week for Thanksgiving break is that schools are required to have 180 instructional days. If there was a whole week off for Thanksgiving break, school would either start two days earlier or end two days later.

The academic calendar for Carlmont is a district-wide calendar, so all the schools in the Sequoia Union district have the same breaks. All faculty must have representation when creating this calendar, so they get to vote on what is best for all.

Braunstein also mentions how there are more days in the second semester. Because of the extra days, it difficult to add school days in the second semester without cutting into summer. Therefore, the teachers and administrations of SUHSD believe that having two school days during Thanksgiving week is the easiest and most beneficial way to meet the work-day requirement without adding to the second semester.

While the district doesn’t plan on changing the academic calendar to allow more time for turkey, they still leave all of Friday to “shop ’til you drop.”