Breaking with the Breaks – Time to Get Rid of February Break?

March 30, 2021

The Globe published a recent story/poll  Should Massachusetts school districts eliminate February vacation?  Boston Globe – March 24, 2021.   

Most states around the country have one spring break in March.  Massachusetts has both a February break coinciding with Presidents Day and then another in April, coinciding with Patriots Day. 

I always heard rumors that the idea of February break was due to heavy lobbying from the New England ski industry. That is sort of true.  It has been used by many industries as a marketing opportunity, and would surely run into a lot of resistance from businesses if it were to ever change.  I remember as a kid Rex Trailer used to organize a trip to California’s Knotts Berry Farm. 

Having been in Disney World as a parent on February vacation week you can’t help but notice the Boston accent, it is wicked cool.  No doubt there would be a very large lobbying effort, from various interested parties, to keep the status quo. One thing to consider: ending February break would allow schools to finish a week earlier.

The history of the February break actually dates back to 1916 and before.  February School Vacation May Be Over, But How Did It Start? WGBH News – Feb 21, 2016

So take our new poll and let us know what you think?


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April 1, 2021 10:11 pm

Changing to a one week holiday in the second half of the school year instead of two weeks only gains you three school days. As it is now, the February vacation week includes Presidents Day and the April vacation includes Patriots Day, both of which are school holidays in any case. The February and April vacations really each have only four days off school. If you had a single week vacation in March, it would be a full five days off, and an extra three days of school. Schools with the one week vacations often have two full weeks vacation during the holiday season. I prefer two second semester holidays.

Heather Randhahn
April 1, 2021 8:25 am

Yes, by all means keep February break. Families need this time together to decompress and recharge. We have had to arrange childcare for many years for February and April breaks, but I still wouldn’t change it. It’s a much needed break for parents as well.

March 31, 2021 6:52 am

If I was a teacher I’d welcome February vacation. If I was a kid I’d want it too.
And as a parent I’d like winter break simply because a break is simply what it is “a break”. Kids and teachers are overly stressed and over programmed. Periodic breaks give everyone the recharge that’s needed to say nothing of a welcome trip to the ski slopes or unstructured activities at home with family and friends.

Judith F Babcock
March 30, 2021 11:59 pm

The greater NYC area had the same schedule as we do when I was growing up, I think they still do. It’s, also, convenient if you want to go somewhere warm for a week. Also, if all 5 snow days weren’t used, they didn’t get out any earlier, they went to school on those extra days.

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