Class is in session.

Students are concerned holiday festivities will be put on hold due to a late, shortened break.

Snow cascades to the ground like a shimmering white blanket. Christmas carols are playing, and you’re still in school.
This year’s winter break goes from Dec. 23 to Jan. 4, raising angry emotions for some. Although school is closed for nearly two weeks, the seemingly pointless two-day week just before the break interferes with some holiday plans.
The holidays are a time to be with your family and for some, traveling may be required. With long car rides to visit distant relatives and vacations out of the state, students have to put trips on hold, not able to leave until after Dec. 23.
Some students have members on both sides of the family that require multiple Christmas celebrations, and without any days to relax before Christmas Eve, students are frustrated.
Others go on vacation for Christmas. Whether to a warm beach in Florida, or up north for outdoor activities like hunting or skiing, no one wants to feel rushed through their holiday adventures. The late break only means a late start to enjoy your time off, having it cut short due to the start up during the first full week of January.
The oddly arranged days before break are thought to be quite pointless, but could these days be helping students and the staff in the long run? Each school is required a certain amount of minutes that school must be in session, and while other districts may have a two day mid-winter break, Utica has a full week vacation. In the end, the two days before the winter break, along with the two days before Thanksgiving break in November, do a lot to add minutes onto our yearly calendar.
The benefits of a late Christmas break are not as clear as they could be, which leaves students angry and confused. Without an explanation from the district about why UCS is holding school, students remain frustrated.
Other schools in Macomb County are giving much longer breaks, some beginning the Dec. 19 and ending January 5, creating a 17-day break compared to Utica’s much shorter 12- day break. Without understanding the big picture, seeing friends from other schools starting their winter break earlier may seem almost criminal.
Although two days may not seem like much, a lot can happen within that time. Instead of visiting family, enjoying the snowy weather, and going on a holiday vacation for as long as previously planned, class is in session.
Rather than jump to the conclusion that the time spent in class is time never given back, look at the facts: The late break and shortened time off is supposed to benefit you.
Although it may feel like a waste of time, remember that the two days we give up before nearly two weeks off on winter break will add to our midwinter break. While nearly every other district in Macomb County has cut their midwinter breaks, Utica still has one full week.