Pros – Kevin Weldon
When Belmont Hill returns from Winter Break, we have two final weeks of the first semester before they begin the second half of the school year. This period of time is often pointed to as a pointless part of the year, but in actuality it has many benefits. The extended time for projects is one of these bonuses. Every class does not have an exam before the break, so having the extra two weeks allows teachers to assign projects for after Winter Break, giving students more time to focus on their exams before break and use the time off to work on their projects. Additionally, having time after break to continue the first semester before it is finalized gives teachers an opportunity to offer their students Exam Corrections and final assignments, as well as the ability to finish units cut short by the exam review days. Lastly, the final weeks of the first semester can be a good way to transition from Winter Break back into the school schedule. Getting back into the rhythm of school can be a drastic change at times, but by having the first two weeks of January, the school can ensure that the Belmont Hill community will be able to acclimate much easier. Overall, the final two weeks of the first semester are beneficial to the Belmont Hill community and are a great way to begin January.
Cons – Duncan Kilbride
While coming back from a well deserved Winter Break, and having two more weeks to finish up the semester can be beneficial in many ways, it has many more drawbacks. One particular disadvantage is the rather abrupt pause in the school year. Even though most midterms happen just before break, most major projects are due afterwards and this break could interfere with the flow of the year and make it much harder to finish the first semester strong. Adding on to this, it can also make for a very busy final two weeks if the student has many projects due. While the separation of these projects and exams can be helpful for managing stress and studying time, it also makes the periods right before and directly after break extraordinarily busy. A final drawback of the final two weeks of the semester is for many classes once they have finished exams, there’s not much left to do in the course and while this can be fun and allow teachers to mix up the material, it also can make the weeks seem rather pointless and a bad end to the semester. In closing, there are many positives and negatives to both sides, but the last two weeks of the first semester being after Winter Break causes more trouble than good.