LCPS Winter Break Shortened to 12 Days


The LCPS School Board approved a new school calendar; allowing for a shorter Winter Break than in previous years.

This year’s Winter Break has been shortened to 12 days, as opposed to the two week break provided by Loudoun County Public Schools in previous years. Beginning on Friday, Dec. 21, students will be allowed one full week of break, with classes resuming on Wednesday, Jan. 2.

For many students, the shortened break leaves them with less time to enjoy themselves, without having to worry about the stresses of school. Sophomore Jocelyn Nichols believes that this year’s break won’t live up to its full potential due to its shortened length. “I feel upset because I enjoy Winter Break. It is a chance for me to sleep in, catch up on school work, and hang out with my friends,” said Nichols.

Freshman Daniel Goldman questions the fairness of decreasing the students’ time away from class. “I don’t feel like it’s fair since we started school a whole week earlier, before labor day,” says Goldman. Despite his initial disapproval, Goldman also believes that the change will bring some positive effects. “It’s positive because now school ends a whole week earlier since we don’t have that extra week of winter break.”

The lessening of time spent out of school has made it increasingly difficult for students to carry on with holiday traditions they held in previous years. For sophomore Phillip Grimes, an annual family trip will no longer be possible due to the calendar change. “I normally have swim meets, and I go to Florida or something; now, I can’t,” says Grimes, “I have to stay home because we only have one week.”

The LCPS calendar fluctuates annually depending on previous environmental factors, and how holidays correspond with the fluidity of each year. While the set calendar remains a controversial topic to students, School Board member and Algonkian representative Debbie Rose believes, “It’s impossible to create the perfect calendar.”

“Trying to coordinate with holidays and natural breaks for the semesters and quarters,” [is one of the main goals of the school board’s processes] said Rose. “It’s really built, the calendar in my opinion, to best affect positive outcomes for students and teachers.”

While breaks in grading periods is important, the placement of certain holidays are crucial to the creation of a school schedule. “You have to look at the calendar to see where these fall, or where Christmas is this year. It really is, where is Christmas, where is Easter, and you build on those weeks,” said Rose. The placement of these holidays is a determining factor in how long school breaks will last.

Rose understands the concerns of students as the winter months approach, but believes that the School Board’s decision was the correct choice. “It comes down to, do you want to get out, have a longer break, and get out [of school] a couple days later, or do you want to get a shorter winter break, and get out a little earlier?”