Breaking news about a missing break

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Lance Brownfield

Physics professor James Duke expresses the benefits and drawbacks of the new COVID-19-influenced school year schedule.

Lance Brownfield, Opinion Editor

From starting a week later than usual to missing our Labor Day break, this school year is definitely mixed up and many students are unaware of just how mixed up it is.

 

In an attempt to condense the school year, Henderson decided that classes were to be held on Labor Day and during the time that the fall break usually takes place. Classes will be held in person until the week of Thanksgiving so long as an outbreak of COVID-19 does not interfere. There will be a week long break for Thanksgiving and afterwards, all classes will finish up online.

 

Normally, Henderson is one of the only schools to take a fall break and attend classes during the week of Thanksgiving every year.

 

Many students have not been informed of the change to the academic calendar, including senior social work major Kaylen Edwards.

 

“I didn’t know we weren’t getting fall break,” Edwards said.

 

The decision was announced on June 12. Then acting President Elaine Kneebone led a task force that devised the plan in order to mitigate the risk of spreading COVID-19 this semester. 

 

In a president’s update, Kneebone stated that the changes are meant to “allow us to maximize as much classroom time as possible in the early months of the semester.” 

To some students, it still seems like a long time to go without a break.

 

“I’m gonna need a break,” freshman engineering major Austen Smith said.

 

Not all students are upset about having no fall break, however. Preston Keahi, an undeclared freshman who plays football, has a positive outlook on the change.

 

“It gives me an opportunity to work on football longer,” Keahi said.

 

This sentiment was echoed by physics instructor James Duke.

 

“I usually would work through the fall break anyways,” said Duke.

 

Duke also thinks the change to the academic calendar will help students since there will be less of a chance for the knowledge and study habits to be lost over the break. He mentioned that students could “burn-out” quicker and lose endurance as a possible drawback to the change.

 

Many students are unaware of the break being taken away. There are various unknowns right now. Only time will tell how the semester will go and how the lack of breaks will affect the students and faculty. The Oracle will provide updates as news occurs.