Because so many students go to Mexico for three or four weeks at Christmas, some California schools now start a week early and take a three-week winter break. The longer break cuts absenteeism.
Our School, my book about a San Jose charter high school, deals with this dilemma. The school’s principal and teachers try to persuade parents not to leave for Mexico before students have finished their finals and to return before school starts. Parents sometimes see time with family as more important than school time. If Downtown College Prep students overstay their vacation, they’ll miss the chance to take electives and catch-up courses during the two-week intersession between semesters; they won’t miss regular classes.