Every year, Halloween comes and goes. On November 1st, students return to school with stories as sweet and sour as the candy filling their bags. What students also bring to school on November 1st, besides their stories and candies, are red, drowsy eyes. This is because on the scariest night of the year, kids are often haunted by less hours of sleep. Researchers have linked less sleep and lower test scores, so perhaps the question should be asked, “Why do we have school the day after Halloween?”
Providence Academy is certainly not the only school to have classes on November 1st. In fact, not a single school in PA’s conference gives November 1st off. While it’s a stretch to say that all Providence Academy students are trick or treating, plenty of them still partake in different Halloween activities.
Middle school student Louie Wehmann made plans early, “I’m going to a party, and then we are going trick or treating.” Meanwhile, Jacob Halek ‘20, planned “to grab some food and then go to a party with a few dozen people ”. Even though Jacob’s plans didn’t take him trick or treating, he was still likely in for just as late of a night as Louie.
Another important consideration is the lack of studying time available on October 31st, due to the evening’s festivities. Students will not be able to sufficiently work on their studies or homework. With the lack of time, some may choose to not even do their work and value their sleep over their assignments.
That brings us to the one million dollar question, or perhaps simply the one day question: why do we not get the day off?
One argument that students often point to is that November 1 is a holy day of obligation. It makes sense that Providence Academy would try to ensure that students attend mass on such a day. Anna Kral ‘19 thinks this as well “I think we probably do not get the day off because it is All Saints Day, so PA probably wants us in school”.
Another common argument is that Minnesota has a minimum amount of required school days. Minnesota requires 935 hours for elementary students and 1,020 hours of schooling for middle school/high school. At PA, we are scheduled to hit roughly a little above 1,120 hours of in-school learning. That means that even with two extra weeks off from school, PA would still be at the threshold for Minnesota schools.
This is not to suggest that PA should give its students two extra weeks off. Of course teachers have a certain amount of work they must get through, and cutting out two weeks of the school year would likely lead to less teaching and more homework. History teacher Mr. Skemp said “I would be able to get through all of my curriculum with a few extra days off, but I know it might be more difficult.”
So, if if an extra day off isn’t feasible for teaching purposes, perhaps PA could reschedule parent-teacher conferences. Exactly one week after Halloween, students get a day off due to conferences. This scheduling decision leads to some students scratching their heads. If we must be in school November 1st, we could at least eat candy during school as well!