Leon County Schools Close for New Unofficial Holiday

A few minutes after the last school bell chimed on Thursday, October 2, a mother and her son crossed the street. She thanked the school crossing guard and said, “See you tomorrow.”

Frank Walker, a Kate Sullivan Elementary School crossing guard, replied, “Oh no, you won’t.”

This school year is the first year that a Fall Holiday has been added to LCS district-wide calendar.

Bob Austin Jr., another school crossing guard at Kate Sullivan, said that this holiday comes as a surprise to him as well.

“I’ve been here 14 years and we’ve never celebrated this holiday,” said Austin.

About 6-8 months before the 2014-2015 school year began, a draft of the Leon County Schools calendar was taken to the school board for adoption.

“After much discussion with our District Advisory Council (a group of parents, teachers,  school staff, school board members, etc.), they approved Oct. 3 as an additional day off that was added to the calendar,” explained Kay Pons, the Executive Assistant in the Policy and Planning Department of LCS Board.

Tina Davis, a pre-kindergarten teacher at Kate Sullivan, describes this break as a “time to relax and recharge.” “I’ll be going camping with my family,” said Davis.

To keep children entertained during the Fall Holiday, several community and recreational centers are offering day camps.

These events will also accommodate parents who have to work and may be seeking childcare for the Fall Holiday.

The Tallahassee Museum, Sue McCollum Community Center and the YMCA are a few of the places offering day camps. Although programs are being offered, parents may not be as aware of Fall Holiday camps as winter and summer camps.

“We still have about 268 out of 300 spots open for tomorrow’s camp,” said Brianna Sherrod, a Parkway YMCA staff member of Membership Services.

 “I appreciate the winter break for Christmas and Hanukkah observances that take place every year, but I am not understanding the purpose of this made-up holiday,” said Joneka McKnight, a mother of a 4-year-old student at Oak Ridge Elementary School.

According to Pons, Oct. 3 as a Fall Holiday is included on the draft for next year’s calendar. The holiday will be evaluated and voted on again by the LCS board in the next few months.

To view the LCS calendar, visit http://www.leonschools.net/Page/2.

To learn more about day camps offered during the Fall Holiday, visit http://tallyconnection.com/2014/09/leon-county-schools-fall-holiday/