MASSENA — The 2021-22 school calendar will have a new holiday for schools.

Component districts’ boards of education in the St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES region are being asked to approve the draft calendar, which includes the addition of Juneteenth.

Juneteenth, an annual holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States, has been celebrated by African Americans since the late 1800s.

“One of the differences this year is the new state holiday, Juneteenth, which falls on June 19th. But, because that’s a Sunday, it’s going to fall on the 20th. That’s usually a Regents (examination) day,” Massena Central School Superintendent Patrick Brady said.

Mr. Brady and Hammond Central School Superintendent Doug McQueer chair a Calendar Committee that’s comprised of regional superintendents, BOCES officials and New York State United Teachers representatives.

He said they didn’t add a Regents day, but did move Rating Day.

“We didn’t add a Regents day, but initially the state had Thursday the 23rd as our last day, which is called Rating Day. We urged them and they did listen to us and they did change that to Friday the 24th. That allowed us to have that extra day in there because the new holiday was limiting our 186-day calendar,” Mr. Brady said.

The school year is the traditional 180 days, with six extra days available for emergencies and inclement weather, “which is about average for us,” he said.

Staff Development Days are scheduled for Sept. 1 and 2 to start the 2021-22 school year. The first day of classes for students will be Sept. 3, followed by the three-day Labor Day weekend and return to school on Sept. 7. The fall Staff Development Day will be Nov. 12.

“We considered an October date, but in the end concluded it would be best connected to the Veterans Day holiday that week,” Mr. Brady said.

The holidays for the new school year are Columbus Day on Oct. 11, Veterans Day on Nov. 11, Thanksgiving recess from Nov. 24 to 26, holiday break from Dec. 23 to 31, Martin Luther King Day on Jan. 17, mid-winter break from Feb. 21 to 25, spring break from April 15 to 22, Memorial Day on May 30, and Juneteenth on June 20.

Spring break coincides with Easter.

“We try to keep that consistent with the other counties around us that we play sports with because spring sports is always very challenging to get the games in. So that is consistent with the counties around us. Other than that, I think it’s a pretty straightforward and normal calendar,” Mr. Brady said.

The last day of school will be June 24, and graduation will be held on June 25.

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(1) comment


Priority should be on opening schools not adding a holiday.

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