2020 Thanksgiving Break raises student concerns due to COVID


Krystka Mariano

Thanksgiving season approaches this week, but with the circumstances of the pandemic, students expect to spend this year’s break differently. Many say the extension of online school has also tied problems regarding the amount of work assigned during the time off. 

The break, usually lasting a week long in prior years, now only falls from this Wednesday through Friday off from school. The plan was confirmed by trustees back in the Fall of 2019, and remains in effect even despite the switch to distance learning. Three contingency days, which have since been scheduled for the second semester, were also provided to serve as alternative days for students to make up instructional time. 

“I do wish it was a whole week…I feel like a lot of people could have used the extra time,” junior Eden Andom states. “There are times where I feel more stressed and unmotivated but I have been doing my best not to fall behind.”

The pressure of virtual classes this year has caused a time crunch in the curriculum of teachers, causing some students to receive work over the shortened break off school.

“We’re all running behind in our curriculum due to a late start to the school year and the restrictions placed on us while virtually teaching,” English teacher, Tiffany Hemberger explains.

Although the Clark County School District regulates homework over holiday breaks to be an extension of an ongoing assignment or project, the overload of work that students are assigned this year, ties to the effects of online learning. Hemberger, who personally didn’t provide additional assignments for her students, still believes that a break provides the opportunity to improve their grade. She suggests that students should not skip on units or standards, even when online, as it will set them up for failure. 

However, the condensed Thanksgiving break along with the extended online work has raised student concerns of balancing school and family life. 

“Breaks are supposed to be time to spend with your family, not doing homework on your computer,” Sophomore Alexis Nelson said. 

While still adjusting to online work policies, including due dates on assignments, Nelson also admits she finds it difficult to keep up. “I think the 3 day break is definitely needed but it’s not really a time where we can work on homework because that’s time to spend with family,” she adds. 

The restrictions of COVID-19 on social gathering has hindered plans of many families  who traditionally spend the holidays with multiple people or extended friends. This year however, many students claim that they plan to only spend the season with immediate family, in order to ensure safety. 

 “As of this year, [my family and I are] trying to establish a pod for the upcoming holidays to take the best precautions we can and resume some normalcy,” Sophomore Andy Hang shares. 

Cases of COVID-19 continue to rise locally and nationally. According to the Centers for Disease Control, it is highly recommended to continue practicing safety measures including facial coverage, limit to small festivities, and staying clean. 

“I do think it’s important for students to remain at home or at least try to keep within the regulations provided,” Andom states. “I know the holiday season is one of the few times you may see certain relatives but I think being cautious and safe is best for now.”