School in Session Jan. 2

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While some parents might be enjoying a day off on Jan. 2, Newport-Mesa Unified School District students and staff will be in class.

According to the education code, when New Year’s Day falls on a Sunday, as it does in 2012, the holiday is normally observed on the following Monday.

The district prepares its calendars in three-year advanced cycles, Superintendent Jeffrey Hubbard previously stated at a Corona del Mar High School PTA meeting.

The instructional calendar is set using resources provided by the county and a review by a calendar committee consisting of certificated, classified, management and parent representatives. The committee discusses all holidays, breaks and needs for the Newport-Mesa district and makes recommendations for school calendars to the board.

The 2011-2012 calendar went through that process without anyone noticing the Jan. 2 school day until about this time last year. So the committee met again and discussed making Jan. 2 a day off and restoring the Wednesday before Thanksgiving as a school day.

The Newport-Mesa Federation of Teachers was against swapping the days, according to a newsletter from the federation, because the results of a poll showed that 200 unit members would be negatively affected by the change.

So after negotiations and numerous discussions about the issue, staff made a recommendation to the NMUSD board during the Sept. 27 meeting that they adopt a resolution declaring that the district observe the holiday on Friday, Dec. 30, instead.

School boards are legally allowed to revise the closed dates of observance for holidays, except for Veterans Day, with a resolution.

So now, Jan. 2, the district’s first day back from winter break, is considered a student instructional day and calendar work day for all NMUSD employees. Parents concerned about the date should contact their child’s school principal directly.


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