For the first time in many years, I find myself with the Wednesday before Thanksgiving off. Our district is following the lead of most of the state in granting an extended leave for the fall holiday. Monday and Tuesday I kept wondering what our school attendance must be like, but didn’t ask or check our student database.
From a personal standpoint, I love having this extra day. I’ve got some breathing room before I jump into the melee of family gatherings on Thursday. However, I have to wonder about how this affects our student attendance. By missing only two days, students essentially have the entire week, plus weekends. Even if we have had a problem with kids cutting the Wednesday before, I’m not sure we’re going to be better off.
I’ve watched this same trend at Furman. When I was there, we only got Thursday and Friday off. Students kept cutting on that Wednesday, so later they added that to the holiday. Students followed the same logic I outlined above, so attendance on the Monday and Tuesday became abyssmal. Furman now gives students the entire week off. This seems strange to me – they get a week of vacation, then come back for only one more week of classes, then exams. The weird thing is, now students have started cutting the Friday before their week off. Seems like they will always want one day in addition to whatever is granted.