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Tips for February BreakAs students depart for more than a week off from school, just a dash of clever planning over vacation can help insure a smooth transition back to the books. Find out how...

Conor Dowley, School Counselor: Students should spend time over February break resting and re-calibrating their minds with some time off from their often busy schedules. During this time, students should involve themselves in pursuits that are enjoyable and productive. Building a routine that incorporates some form of exercise, reading what they enjoy, and a good night's sleep is a nice starting point. Spending some time reflecting on the current school year may inform decisions related to goals for the rest of the year (and course registration for next year) is also a good idea.

Dr. Nicole Zito, Middle School English: March can feel like a really long month, so use the break to rest and recharge. Reconnect with your town friends. Be with your family. Make a productive plan before the break starts. Then, savor each day. Try not to indulge in too much screen or get into those tough habits to break like staying up too late and sleeping through the next day. Before you head back into the classroom, take some time to get organized. Clean out your backpack and file any loose papers. Consider adding dates to your calendar for upcoming tests and projects or personal commitments that might impact the time you have to work on long assignments once you come back to campus.

Liz Liwo, Middle School Counselor: “Our department suggests students should use February vacation to relax and take some time to slow down. To keep your academic skills sharp, you should try to read for pleasure and get some extended sleep. Keep video/screen time to a reasonable minimum. Do your best to recharge your engines so you can be ready to finish the semester strong and keep away the late-winter blues.”

Mark Gafur, Middle School Counselor: “The most the most important thing is to recharge, so sleep well, get outside, and eat right. Even for students who are struggling, we suggest relaxing and recharging. However, you can keep skills up by using iXL for math practice as well as Khan Academy online. For English grammar practice, try the No Red Ink app. Don’t hesitate to pick up a book and read for pleasure as well.”

Lacey Allis, Center for Learning and Academic Success Coach: "Keep in mind: We’re still early in the quarter and there’s time to improve classroom effort and attention to detail on assignments. When you return to school, don’t hesitate to take advantage of the Writing Center, or meet with a Learning Coach through the “Ask a Coach” tab on the portal to ensure you’re headed in the right direction. Have confidence in yourself and remember that you have support of your peers, the Prep community and your family."

Dr. Mark McManmon, Assistant Principal for Academics Grades 11 and 12: One of the big challenges of going into February break is losing momentum gained during the weeks since Christmas. But the school year can be challenging and sometimes a tough grind. Sleep, exercise, hang out with friends. Having fun is a great way to stay sharp and prepared for the return to school. The brain loves novelty, so switching things up is good for you. That said, it’s probably worth spending a little bit of time thinking about the last five weeks of the third quarter. Is there a research paper on the horizon? Has a novel been assigned that your English class will be finishing up? Is there a project just around the corner? While you don't have dive into everything over the break, it’s worth your time to map out what the five weeks between the end of break and the end of the quarter will look like. Will there be a week where a number of assignments are all do at once? If so, knowing this when you come back to campus can help you better manage your time and ease stress.
Posted by Mr. Chad Konecky in Wellness@SJP on Friday February, 16

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