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Weeklong Thanksgiving Break Won't Be Repeated for Pasco Students

The proposed 2013 Pasco school calendar takes the break back to three days.

The weeklong Thanksgiving break Pasco students and staff enjoyed this year likely won’t be repeated in 2013.

The proposed calendar for the next school year takes the break back to three days, according to the information item presented to the school board at its Dec. 4 meeting.

Veterans Day, which was not a district holiday in 2012, will be observed in 2013 if the calendar is approved .

It’s either Veterans Day or two extra days off at Thanksgiving, Assistant Superintendent for Administration Renalia DuBose said.

DuBose spent all of Veterans Day this year fielding calls about her "lack of patriotism," she said.

The calendar committee also recommended to the board that the first semester end before the winter break, "as we have in the past," the proposal stated.

Final exams should be taken before the students go on break, because good students ruin the family’s vacation time by studying throughout, and the average students don’t study at all, “which is scarier,” DuBose said.

It’s too bad the long Thanksgiving break could not be extended another year, because there was a lot of positive feedback, United School Employees of Pasco president Lynn Webb said.

But union employees understand, and knew going into it that it would be a one-year thing, she said.

Highlights of the 2013-14 calendar, from the agenda item presented to the board:

  • Teacher start date is Monday, Aug. 12, 2013.
  • Student start date is Monday, Aug. 19, 2013.
  • Possible hurricane makeup days are Monday, Nov. 11, 2013, Monday, January 20, 2014, and Monday, Feb. 17, 2014.
  • Veterans Day will be observed on Monday, Nov. 11, 2013.
  • Thanksgiving holidays for both students and staff will be three days, Nov. 27-29, 2013.
  • First semester ends before winter break on Friday, Dec. 20, 2013.
  • Winter break is Dec. 23, 2013 – Jan. 3, 2014 for students.
  • Planning day is Monday, Jan. 6, 2014, with students starting back to school on Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014.  This allows cafeterias a day to receive fresh dairy and produce items prior to students returning.
  • Spring break is March 17-21, 2014, which will not interfere with FCAT retakes or testing timelines.
  • FCAT testing dates in the spring of 2014 are Feb. 24 – Feb. 26, 2014 for FCAT Writing and April 22-25, 2014 for FCAT Reading, Math, and Science.  After testing is complete, a very intense packing procedure must be followed to have the tests picked up from the school sites, cross-checked at the district office while schools are open to make necessary corrections, and shipped off for scoring.
  • Graduation dates are May 30 and 31, 2014.
  • The last day of school for students is Tuesday, June 3 2014, with teacher planning days on Wednesday and Thursday, June 4 and 5, 2014.

What do you think about the district wanting to shorten the Thanksgiving break? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

Steve Gonzales December 04, 2012 at 11:12 PM
Having a week off for "Thanksgiving" was just ridiculous. And the reasoning behind it was because teachers complained they didn't have enough time to "prepare" for Thanksgiving....... What about allllllllll the years before now? They have decent hours Monday through Friday and weekends off. If they don't know how to prepare for Thanksgiving by now then maybe they need some schooling themselves!!!!!!!
Sandi December 11, 2012 at 04:19 AM
A week off for Thanksgiving?? Most parents who work full time only have Thursday off. They seem to manage. Besides, all that time off makes it really hard on finding someone to watch their children because then the children have a week off. That's quite a burden and expense on most working parents, don't you think? Do your shopping the weekend before like most of us have to do. Prepare some foods on Weds. night and keep your home clean all week. Maybe a little less TV! It's called 'buying out the time' like most of us have to do. Our children need more schooling - not less.

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