HomeHillsborough BeaconHillsborough OpinionHILLSBOROUGH: School board shouldn’t disparage Presidents’ Day 

HILLSBOROUGH: School board shouldn’t disparage Presidents’ Day 

Editor’s note: This is a copy of a letter sent to Schools Superintendent Jorden Schiff and the members of the Board of Education.
This is the second time in two years that I am asking the board to reconsider how the school calendar is determined. Students will now go to school on President’s Day due to a snow day in January. It seems that our calendar is reactive to snow, rather than proactive. I cannot recall a year in which we did not need an emergency day. These days should be built in to our calendar without needing to send emails to parents and revise the calendar mid-year.
Working parents set their schedules far in advance to take advantage of the days their children have off from school. In addition, many people work for companies that honor President’s Day, so it is a convenient weekend to schedule a family trip. I am sure there will be quite a few families who will not change their plans, so I would not be surprised if absenteeism on Feb. 15 is higher than other regularly scheduled days.
However, the real reason we need to reconsider how our calendar is determined is more important than the inconvenience this reactive calendar causes to working parents. President’s Day is a national holiday. One of the main purposes of public school is to prepare our students to become participants in our democratic society. Going to school on a day that honors two of the greatest men in our country’s history is disrespectful. While I appreciate that you try to do the best for our students in the areas of technology, test prep, and all the other pressing needs of 2016, you have forgotten our past and our purpose.
The calendar is already set for next school year, and I see you have made the same mistake. However, in the future, I hope you will consider the importance of our national holidays. They are more than just a day to go skiing or shopping. They are a day to reflect upon great Americans, and our school district should be teaching respect for our history to our young citizens. 
Danielle Greco 
Hillsborough 
Editor’s note: Dr. Schiff sent this reply: “Thank you for sharing your comments and concerns with the Board of Education. As we begin the process of developing the 2017-2018 calendar, your thoughts will be part of the conversation.” 
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