Lee County public school officials said calendar pressure left them no choice but to have class on Memorial Day. Classes were in session due in part to a 2005 law forces schools to start after Aug. 24 and finish before June 10.
School system officials have to squeeze in 180 instructional days in the school calendar. The school system normally takes the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and Good Friday off and would like to keep those days off.
Lee County Schools Superintendent Jim McCormick said Memorial Day is an ideal time for learning.
"What's exciting about today is that the young people in school, from what we found out today, are focusing on the legacy, the history of people who have contributed to the safety and welfare of this country," he said.
Lee County also held Memorial Day classes in 2003. It was not the only school system with scheduled classes Monday.
Vance County schools were in session as a weather make-up day. Students in Duplin and Henderson counties were also in class Monday.