The Influence of the January Regents Week on MBHS Students

Alexia Ceballos, Staff Reporter

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Millennium Brooklyn High School handles the New York State Regents Week system differently compared to most other schools. Due to MBHS’s rigorous test prep throughout the year, students rarely fail Regents exams. As a result, the majority of MBHS students spent most or all of this January Regents Week at home.

One way that the extra week off impacts students is in morale. Elena Shostak, MBHS Sophomore, recalled “when I found out that there wasn’t school [during my first Regents Week], I was really excited.” Shostak had no January Regents due to never having taken one before the beginning of her freshman year, the prospect of an additional break in January overjoyed her.

Shostak’s classmate, Olivia Giddings, was also elated by the idea of Regents Week. “It was so nice because it was right after Christmas break. It was always sad to come back from that because Christmas is my favorite holiday.” Knowing that another week-long break was three short weeks away cheered Giddings up when it was time to return to school in early January.

Overall, having Regents week off or mostly off makes students happy.

However, that is not the only thing that the time at home does for students. Giddings says that the thing that makes having a break particularly pleasant for her is having “the time to sleep in” that she cannot have during school days. A National Sleep Poll in 2006 found that “more than 87% of high school students in the United States get far less than the recommended 8 to 10 hours [of sleep per night].” An extra week at home means an extra week for students to recuperate from their chronic sleep deprivation.

Unfortunately, Regents Week has its downsides. Mr. Hines, Calculus teacher, said “the very first day back [after Regents Week] is rough. A bunch of students are absent, and even more are late.” Hines’ students have difficulty re-adjusting their schedules after Regents Week ends.

Even the students who return to school on time the day after Regents Week have a hard time. “Any break off of school confuses my mind a little,” says Shostak. “I don’t have the same mindset as I do before I went off.” She, like many other students, was mentally unprepared for the return to school, and her performance worsened as she forgot crucial information upon return.

MBHS’s January Regents Week trades valuable class time and retention of learned skills for a boost in students’ morale and mental health. Whether or not that’s a good thing depends on which of those is more highly valued.

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