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After Complaints, School District Gives Students Memorial Day Off

Posted April 23, 2008

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— The Wayne County Board of Education will amend the school district's calendar to give students Memorial Day off after receiving numerous complaints from parents.

But students will have to make up the day on the Saturday afterward.

May 31 was the only compromise the school system could make with parents who complained that school was open May 26, Wayne County Public Schools spokesman Ken Derksen said.

"North Carolina law regarding school calendars is so strict, and it's so close to the end of the school year, the board is limited in their options of what they could do," he said.

Adding a school day to the end of the year was not an option, Derksen said, because it ends on a Friday and graduations have already been set.

State law requires a certain number of school days each academic year. A calendar committee consisting of parents, administrators and representatives from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro created the school schedule last spring to include the May 26 holiday as a school day.

But in the military community surrounding Seymour Johnson, parents wanted students to be able to observe the day out of school

The Saturday makeup day will be a half-day of school. Schools that had scheduled Memorial Day events will move those to May 31.

The Board of Education is expected to officially adopt the new schedule on May 5.

26 Comments

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  • newmommy06 Apr 24, 2008

    I teach in Johnston County and a few years ago Memorial Day was an Optional teacher Workday. This meant that if you were like me, and didn't have any time built up, you had to work.

  • thefensk Apr 24, 2008

    School holidays have been a mess for years. But true federal holidays should always be a consideration when they are putting the schedule together. They should be a given.
    In reality, the state should be a bit more forgiving for inclement weather days. The only reason they stop schools on those days is to protect lives. A few grace days of that sort should be part of the equation too when they are counting up the "state law" days the schools need to be in session.

    Lawmakers: build more flexibility into the system.

  • asxysldr Apr 24, 2008

    we have federal standards for teaching out children, but not set days off for federal holidays. I just recently moved from NC to VA and here is the list of holidays on their schedule
    Holidays include:
    Veteran's Day
    Thanksgiving Break
    Winter Break
    Martin Luther King Day
    President's Day Spring Break Memorial Day They also do not start school till the day after Labor Day. Why can't NC adopt a schedule like this?

  • NCTeacher Apr 24, 2008

    Always cool- where is your information coming from? We have had several teacher workdays since the students started school. We have also had 6 early dismissal days where we attended staff development from noon until 4 pm. And on workdays- we actually work very hard. That is when we take care of cumulative folders, turning in grades for report cards, meeting about possible retainees, update and meet about IEP's, etc....

  • NCTeacher Apr 24, 2008

    I agree, we shouldn't be in school on Memorial Day. We should show more respect for our military, particularly in a town with an Air Force base.

    I teach in Wayne County and the teachers are UP IN ARMS over this decision. Had they made the decision a little sooner, they could have turned our last workday (April 7th) into a regular school day. Instead they take away a Saturday and then tell us we will not be allowed to take that day off- even if we have already made other plans.

    I have about 70 students in a day. I guarantee that no more than 20-25 of them will show up. In a school with hundreds of students, the buses will run and the cafeteria will cook tons of food for maybe 100 kids to show up. None of the teachers will teach anything of real importance because we will have so many students out. It's just insane to think this plan will work.

    And it isn't official until May 5th, so they still have time to correct this problem somehow.

  • staceydoulin Apr 24, 2008

    Hello,
    I find it remarkable that we are even having this debate in the first place. The school district and those that serve on the calendar committee should have NEVER not considered Memorial Day a holiday. I dont understand how a county school board can disregard a national holiday, and why Wayne county is the only one having this problem. As of 7 AM the toal number of American military lives lost in Iraq alone for the month of April was 34. This made April the month with the highest number of reported deaths since September 2007. Regardless of whether the war is right or the president is right, we are in a war. Memorial Day was deemed a NATIONAL Holiday of remembrance, not an optional day at the beach. The civics lesson that was earlier mentioned is right here and now. If we take the time to teach our children, maybe we wont have this disrespect in the future.

  • smgbmw Apr 24, 2008

    hondaman, OK sry "will cost the STATE" Half a day not worth it. What happens when that Freak May snow storm comes through?
    wtliftr,
    I know it will cost the same as during a normal weekday. Not what I was getting at. Find a way to not have use a Saturday. A "Snow Day" has not been used this year that I can remember.

  • alwaysCool Apr 24, 2008

    The reason the school board decided to make the kids go to school on Memorial day is because they decided thatPresidents day was more important. If you look at the schedule for the year there is 1 work shop day, 1 early dismissal and 1 leave day. I do believe that the teachers are having more time off than needed. Now, how many parents are going to wake up Saturday and send their kids to school?

  • jgrover2 Apr 24, 2008

    I HAVE TO SAY THAT I WAS ONE THAT STOOD UP AND RAISED A RED FLAG ABOUT THIS WHOLE THING. MYSELF AND A FEW OTHER MILITARY SPOUSE AND MOTHERS OF CHILDREN THAT ATTEND COULDNT BELIEVE WHAT THEY WERE DOING. WE LIVE IN A MILITARY COMMUNITY AND I BELIEVE AS WELL AS OTHERS THAT THEY CANT JUST SIT IN THEIR OFFICES ON :CALENDER DAY: AND SAY WELL WE WILL PICK THIS ONE AND DROP THAT ONE. I DONT THINK SO, THEN THEY HAVE THE GUTS TO SAY NOW THEY HAVE TO GO TO SCHOOL ON A SATURDAY...I WILL NOT STAND FOR THIS AND THEY WILL BE HEARING FROM ME AGAIN ON THIS ISSUE. IF THEY TOOK THE NEXT EARLY DISMISSAL(WHICH IS MAY 7) AND MADE IT A FULL DAY IT WOULD ACCOMODATE EVERYONE. I CANT BELEIVE THEY REALLY THOUGHT THAT THEY WERE GOING TO GET AWAY FROM THIS....THEY HAVE ANOTHER THING COMING..

  • Deb1003 Apr 24, 2008

    For heaven's sake, it's Memorial Day, a day in which the citizens of the USA honor those that have died for our freedoms and our rights. There are so many teacher workdays...sacrifice one of those in honor of our veterans.

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