Winter break woes

Would taking finals before winter break be more beneficial?


Photo by Photo by Alex Ketcham

Students sit in Studio C studying for their classes. If final exams were this week, they wouldn’t have to continue their studying over winter break

Alex Ketcham, Sports Editor

In the North Suburban Conference, five out of the eight schools take their first semester final exams before winter break. Lake Zurich is not one of them. Many other high schools have their final exams before winter break, so why doesn’t LZ?

Overall, having finals before winter break and allowing students to be able to relax over break would be more beneficial to students. Having a two week break right before finals very well could hurt some students’ chances at receiving a better grade on their exams.

The reason why the school doesn’t join the other five schools is because the current structure is more traditional, according to Bo Vossel, Principal. However, that doesn’t mean that a change isn’t a possibility in the future.

“The scheduling that we are on is a traditional high school, middle school, elementary school schedule,” Bo Vossel, principal, said. “Some schools over the last decade have switched that to follow more of a collegiate schedule where they start a little earlier and end the semester before winter break, and then start the second semester after winter break and get out a bit earlier.”

Although the idea of having finals before break would be beneficial from a student’s perspective by getting exams out of the way, the current system might be more beneficial and help students perform better on the exams because they get the two weeks to prepare, Vossel said.

“I think as you look at coming back, there’s a certain amount of opportunity to reboot. You get that break, you get to reassess and come back. You get those two weeks to figure out what you need to do or what you need to complete,” Vossel said. “There is some value in that opportunity to get away for a little bit, and then come back.”

Being able to reevaluate over the break might help some students out, but others might stress about finals and not be able to enjoy the break, according to Spencer Bacon, junior.

“I think finals should be before because it’d be nice to actually have a break and not have to worry about how hard one of my finals will be,” Bacon said.

With the hypothetical system, school would be forced to start earlier in August, but Summer vacation would start earlier also. Theoretically, if the school were to ever change the system of final exams, the summer that the change would take place would be cut a few days short, but it wouldn’t be the end of the world, Bacon said.

“The only downside that I could see is that school would probably have to start earlier in the year and one year of our summer would be cut a little short for this to happen, but after that one year I don’t see any downside to the new system,” Bacon said.

Overall, moving first semester finals to before winter break to mimic collegiate schedules would be more beneficial should the school district choose to ever make the change. The sacrifice of starting school earlier in the year in order to get a more relaxing winter break and an earlier summer vacation would be worth it.