Aiken County, S.C. (WJBF)- Friday is the last day of school for students in Aiken County Public Schools. Next week is the beginning of a two week fall break- the first one in the new modified calendar.
Parents have mixed feeling about this. NewsChannel 6 reached out to Aiken County parents through social media to ask what their thoughts were.
Overwhelmingly, most are thrilled with the two week break, saying the kids need it after the early start of the school year. Plus, they are excited to go on a vacation that isn’t during peak summer months.
Others say they are unhappy with having to find and pay for child care for two weeks and that these breaks put a lot of stress on working parents.
One person pointed out that the two week breaks are good for non-custodial parents, especially those who live out of state. It could allow them to see their children more often throughout the year.
Uyen Griffis is a teacher at Hammond Hills Elementary School and Aiken County Teacher of the Year. She said that what she is hearing from parents and teachers about the break is mostly positive.
“First, I think teachers and students are so ecstatic about it. I’m hearing two weeks ago, ‘Hey! What are you guys doing for October’s break?’ And I’ve been hearing a lot of planned trips for the teachers, for students. It’s like, ‘Oh my goodness, there’s two weeks off, Ms. Griffis, yes!'” laughed Griffis.
These breaks are happening at the end of each nine weeks, throughout the school year.
Teachers requested a fall break when the modified calendar was being discussed, because prior to this year, there wasn’t one between Labor Day and Thanksgiving.
Many teachers say it was obvious that many kids were getting burned out and so were they.
During the first week, students with low or failing grades will get to work with a teacher to bring them up. Teachers can opt in to this for extra pay, or choose to take the full two weeks off.
Griffis said she is interested to see how students respond to two weeks off in the fall.
“My concern with children 3 to 5 with varying exceptionalities, coming back to school. You know we’ve got the rules and routines in place. Are we able to maintain those skills. And so I’m excited to see, when we return, what’s going on,” she explained.
Fall break in Aiken County starts Monday, October 2 and students will head back on Monday, October 16. Most schools are still holding practices and sporting events during the break.