MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Students in Shelby County will get one more day of winter break than they might have thought.
In order to "start the semester strong," an additional virtual instructional planning day will take place just for teachers on Monday, Jan. 2, 2023. Schools in the district will reopen specifically for students the following day, Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023.
With student in Shelby County getting one more day of winter break than originally planned (and with many kids still dealing with learning loss from the pandemic as well as rising concerns over student mental health), this time could be valuable to help students catch up, or at least not fall further behind, during the holidays.
According to the American Educational Research Association, children lose up to 40% of the gains they have made when taking extensive breaks.
Counselor Natasha Bonner suggests parents make sure their children get the most out of winter break.
"The most effective way to push through this break is to make sure parents know to stay on that schedule," Bonner said. "Even though kids are not in school, you know, making sure they wake up on time, continue to do their daily routine [is important]. It really keeps the kids from being sluggish."
Due to a break in routine or distance from friends, some kids could also experience anxiety. In her children's book, Bonner recommends taking a walk with your child, deep breathing, exercise and much more.
"So practically speaking let's say you have a second grader up until sixth grader," Bonner said. "They like to be busy. They like to help around, so maybe if your child is struggling with reading, 'Hey, come help me do this recipe' or 'I'm fixing your favorite plate. Do you want to help me do the recipe and do the measurements?' That way you're doing the reading, we're getting mathematics and we're getting that bonding in."