More than a dozen school districts across the St. Louis region will take an extended Thanksgiving break next week in response to high levels of stress among teachers and students.
“They’re just experiencing a lot of anxiety, a lot of stress being educated during a pandemic,” said Superintendent Jim Wipke of the Ladue School District. “Staff is under incredible pressure, they feel the responsibility of trying to catch kids up in terms of academics.”
More than 18 months into the pandemic and its social isolation and political battles, teachers and families called for a break for mental health. What would normally have been a couple days off around Thanksgiving will now become a full week. The districts are generally treating the two or three extra days like snow days that are built into the calendar and don’t have to be made up. In the event of actual snow days, districts now can more readily pivot to online learning.