School holidays are a typical part of educational systems across the country. Kids usually look forward to these breaks, while parents can sometimes be overwhelmed by the changes in everyday schedules. School holidays are taken for religious, governmental and seasonal reasons. Needing time for work days and conferences also affect the amount of days that public and private schools take for breaks.
Public schools don't acknowledge all religious days as holidays. The major exception to this is the Christmas holiday. Many public schools include Christmas in their winter break. Private religious schools, like Catholic schools, acknowledge more religious holidays. Examples of these are Good Friday and Ash Wednesday. To prevent bureaucratic problems, most public schools use winter break as a substitute for Christmas break so as not to offend anyone of a religion that does not celebrate Christmas.
Some government holidays, or bank holidays, are acknowledged by schools. Government holidays that most schools have breaks on are Labor Day, Memorial Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Veterans Day. The Thanksgiving holiday usually gets two to three days off school. Some schools schedule teacher work days on these government holidays. Other government holidays, like Independence Day, are contained within seasonal breaks. Breaks are not given for all government holidays.
Breaks occur often at the end of each educational semester for seasonal schools and every couple of months for year-round schools. One to two weeks off is standard for winter break for kindergarten through 12th grade levels. Spring break is traditionally one week in March or April. For seasonal schools, students are given two to three months off in the months of June, July and August for summer break. Summer break is not nearly as long for year-round schools, but the days off are made up with one and two week break periods throughout the year. These breaks are not consistent nationwide but usually are the same across the educational district.
Teacher-related holidays occur when there is a teacher work day or parent teacher conference. These usually occur at the end of each school quarter. These holidays are not the same at schools across the country; however, they are usually the same across educational districts. Teacher work days, or staff days, usually occur on a Friday or a Monday, resulting in a four-day school week. Parent teacher conferences tend to occur on Thursdays and Fridays resulting in a three-day school week.
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