GEORGETOWN, Texas (KXAN) — Monday is Memorial Day, but thousands of students in Central Texas are spending the holiday in class.
Districts like Georgetown ISD are using the federal holiday as a makeup day for one missed during winter weather earlier in the school year.
Students in Dripping Springs, Lockhart, Smithville, and San Marcos school districts also have a make up day.
Georgetown ISD missed three days of school due to weather during January and February. The district works two days into the school year for bad weather, but students have to make up the third missed class day.
“Some of those days, you know, it seemed like by 10:00 in the morning you’re thinking, ‘Why did we have a weather day?'” said parent Roland Moreno, “but, I understand it’s a chance game, you know.”
The decision to go to class on Memorial Day came democratically, with district leaders surveying parents. The options for the makeup day were Good Friday, the first Saturday of Spring Break or Memorial Day.
Roland and Karen Moreno spent Sunday at San Gabriel Park with their two kids as their Memorial Day weekend wrapped up early.
“We all voted on it, and of course we placed our vote,” Roland said. “And it seems the majority vote came in to be Memorial Day.”
The holiday won with 45% of the vote. Good Friday received 39% and the first Saturday of Spring Break got 17%.
“Good Friday is a religious holiday, so there were several families against that,” said Karen Moreno. “And then, of course, the first Saturday of Spring Break… no body wants to go to on a Saturday.”
Georgetown ISD schools will excuse absences Monday, understanding that some families had plans.
“There really just isn’t a fair situation with the choices that we were given,” Karen Moreno said. “The fairest solution, if it were my decision, is to tack one more day on to the end of the year.”
Many parents, like the Morenos, will send their kids to school while enjoying a day off of work.
State law says in most cases districts can’t just skip the days canceled due to bad weather. The Texas Education Code says the district must operate for at least 180 days of instruction each year. The only exception is if the education commissioner decides to grant a waiver due to disaster, flood or other event that forces schools to close.