Give Students A Break!

As they sit down for holiday dinners on Thursday, Staples High School students have much to be thankful for. Loving families, good friends, caring teachers, a wonderful community — those things don’t change.

But this year, they’ll give thanks for something else: No homework.

Principal James D ‘Amico sent this email last week:

I want to take the opportunity to remind everyone that this upcoming Thanksgiving break is a homework-free break.

As a school community we want our school breaks to truly be a break from school to the greatest extent possible. We value school breaks as an opportunity for our students, staff, and families to rejuvenate, spend time with friends and family, and generally find the time for much-needed rest.

School breaks are also a good time for those who may have fallen behind on their work to catch up, without more new assignments piling up.

Through our Collaborative Team of representative teachers, administrators, students, and parents, we developed the following simple definition of homework-free breaks:

  • No homework should be assigned over these breaks
  • Long-term project due dates, as well as tests, may not be scheduled for the first 2 days of school following one of these breaks.​

The December, February and April breaks will also be homework-free.

Additionally, we encourage everyone to take a technology break over Thanksgiving, and disconnect our devices and engage with each other.

On behalf of everyone at Staples High School I wish you and your families a happy, healthy, and restful Thanksgiving next week.

11 responses to “Give Students A Break!

  1. Great idea Principal D’Amico. I hope the kids enjoy some outdoors time too. It’s the best. Happy Thanksgiving to all.

  2. A wonderful idea! During my first two years of college, our first semester finals were scheduled in early January–which meant that our Xmas/New Year’s holiday break was not a true break from schoolwork. All I can say is, the winter break my junior and senior years was definitely more enjoyable.

  3. What a positive and constructive message the Principal is sending to the students. Giving permission to take a break from homework, technology and deadlines is a crucial perspective that is often lost in their pressure cooker world of school. And coming from no less then the Principal is….now that is impressive.

  4. Julie Fatherley

    Lovely to see an enlightened individual who has standards beyond just
    academic success. He is encouraging heart as well as mind and I salute
    him….thinking about those who have less is important not just now but
    all year around and Dan has presented many amazing stories of many
    selfless teens doing amazing things for others. Julie Fatherley

  5. Dorrie Barlow Thomas

    BRAVO, STAPLES! This is such a necessary thing these days…so proud to see my hometown being a leader in such matters 🙂

  6. James D’Amico and Colleen Palmer are doing a great job! Thanks for this. Now, if we could just get the coaches of all of the sports teams to have the same philosophy about giving the kids a break over vacation periods. Whatever happened to family time?

  7. Morgan Patrick

    A terrific initiative. Thanks to the Collaborative Team and to Principal D’Amico for their support of students’ wellbeing!

  8. Eric William Buchroeder SHS '70

    Staples has come a long way since I attended ’67-’70.

  9. Suzanne Tager Obsitnik

    It’s a great concept, but is it real? It seems like teachers are still assigning things that require weekend time because there is so much to do now.

    • Morgan Patrick

      I agree that it is unrealistic to expect students – especially juniors and seniors in the thick of college stuff – not to do any work. But I think it sends a positive message and hopefully makes it easier for students wanting a few free days to get longer term stuff done before the holiday.

  10. Sounds like a great initiative! Are we certain there’s 100% compliance with this “no tests on the first two days back” thing? I’m hearing otherwise from one of my kids. Any other current parents want to check with their students to see if this is for reals? As the kids say 😉