After Break Consequences: Decreased Attendance and Motivation


Rishit Agnihotri

Effects of breaks to attendence and academic motivation.

Rishit Agnihotri

Amador Valley teachers and students have seen an increase in empty seats in their classrooms after winter break. In response to the decreased attendance rates due to sickness and other reasons, students are seen to lose some of their academic motivation.

“Absences after breaks normally increase. When it’s a three-day holiday, it seems like kids are not coming to school to extend the holiday, unlike longer breaks. We’ve had a lot of independent studies and pre-approval requests recently,” said Amador Valley Attendance Staff Kelly Cantu.

Sickness is a major challenge that students and teachers face when coming back. During these long breaks, families usually tend to travel outside of town to meet with relatives. Illness becomes harder to avoid due to coming in contact with people and changes in weather.

“I love to travel during breaks and visit my family, but I feel like I get sick every single time. It gets really hard to avoid meeting people I haven’t seen in a long time, but my parents, ever since COVID-19, have started to quarantine me. Coming back to school hasn’t been easy either, as I normally miss out for the first week while sitting around in my house,” said Sarvesh Sivaraman (‘26). 

When coming back to school, even after missing only a couple of days, the workload and pressure to catch up can decrease students’ motivation to do their work. This may also resonate with long-term negative effects in the grade book.

“Motivation in class seems really different, as it takes a few days to have that normal feeling again and everyone is mostly quiet. Many people in class miss out on the first few days of assignments, both homework, and classwork, which adds a lot of pressure to catch up. Personally, missing the first few days doesn’t change your semester or quarter grades, but have a large impact on something like the first test back,” said Raghav Pottabathini (‘25).