Is it just me or does Christmas break last longer than when I was a kid?

By Oblivious MaMa

Oh Christmas Tree

An extra day of Christmas vacation? Woo hoo! Oh wait, I’m a parent. That means an extra day of making sure my kid stays out of trouble and has something to do.

My pre-K kid returned to school Tuesday after 11 days off. At first I thought it was just her school since she’s not yet in kindergarten. But no, even the local public school district took two weeks and one day for 11-days total. And over the break, I learned the same was happening in other states.  Monday, it appears, is an ease-into-work-kid-free day for teachers.

Since when did schools start prolonging Christmas vacation beyond 10 days? Back in my day, we got two weeks off at Christmas and returned the Monday after New Year’s Day.

Researching the local school district, the system in the Denver area has reserved the Monday after New Year’s as a teachers-only day since 2010. Prior to that, it’s confusing. In 2009, kids returned on Monday. In 2008, kids returned on Wednesday, Jan. 2. In 2007, kids returned on a Tuesday, but that was because Monday was New Year’s Day. Inexplicably, the calendar for these last two years appear to say that Christmas break lasted less than 2 weeks. Bummer!

There are reasons, of course. But the biggest change from my childhood is budgetary reasons. In Maryland last year, the district proposed an extra three days off during winter break to save on energy costs. In California, the budget crises is blamed for extending at least one school district’s winter break for three weeks (teachers take the extra week as unpaid furlough days).

But ultimately, the length of Christmas break is up to the school district. In Florida, one district had 13 days of winter break, while nearby districts had 11. A Wyoming school district gave students eight days off this past break, down from 12 days two years ago (parents complained it was too long — ha!). And next year, they’ll get 10 days.

Sigh. At least I’m learning this now before my kid hits kindergarten. And I’m obviously not the only oblivious one out there. My neighbor, whose kids attend the local elementary school, forgot and sent her kids to school on Monday. Doh!

Source: Oblivious MaMa  

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