What Is It with All of These "Non-Student" Days at School?

Updated on October 13, 2011
T.M. asks from Tampa, FL
11 answers

I have noticed that there are quite a number of "Non-Student" days in the school calendar. We live in Hillsborough County. Any idea what these days are supposed to be for? Teacher planning? If so, I don't understand because we have early release every Monday to accomodate teacher planning. It doesn't seem to be in the children's best interest...they seem to be losing valuable instructional time. And that means that either my husband or I have to take off of work or I have to pay my afterschool program more. Who does this really benefit? Certainly not the kids....

What can I do next?

  • Add your own comment
  • Ask your own question
  • Join the Mamapedia community
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

I actually did ask the Vice-Principal and she didn't seem to know what this was... It is not for teacher planning though...the school gets out early EVERY Monday to accomodate teacher planning.... I Counted at least four of these days throughout the year in addition to the every early release Monday. I would love to take a break with the kids butt I do have to work full time. Although I love my career, I really do have to work to pay the bills.

And yes...they have the entire week of Thanksgiving off too! This kind of stuff makes it really tough on working parents...

Featured Answers



answers from Jacksonville on

Could this be their solution to the "Due to budget cuts, we want to have a 4 day school week"? I know that this was proposed this year by the Dept. of Education here in Florida....It did not pass, but this sounds to me like some of the solution. (It will be proposed next year, as well)

This, among other reasons, is why Florida is on the top of the list for homeschooling. Goodness, Duval county (Jacksonville) is #1 in the NATION for the rise of home education....Florida in general is 48th in the nation for education in general.....

Education reform is really what is desperately needed....IMO

Edit My Answer
1 mom found this helpful

More Answers



answers from Boston on

I have no idea what it's like for you in FL, but here in MA, on professional days, of which we have three a year in the district in which I teach, we do things like:

-get trained in anti-bullying, or anti-racism adult education
-get trained in new curriculum programs, like writing, math, reading... this is not "planning", but learning how to use a brand-new curriculum
-get trained in new uses for and forms of technology
-work on vertical teams for a certain curricular area (K-5 teams)
-analyze data we have collected on kids and decide how best to help struggling students
-begin, continue with, and try to finish curriculum mapping, revamping of assessments, etc.

Most of the things we start in my district either never get finished or take a backseat for a while because they are always heaping new initiatives on us. The list I gave you is pretty short compared to the things we really need to get done... not that those items don't need to get done too, they just all get added to the same plate! We can't get any quality work done with kids in school or on half days when we don't have much time. I understand how this is an inconvenience for parents, I am one too and my daughter's school is where we live, not where I teach, so I have to pay her after school care more too. I can say as a teacher, however, it is necessary!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boca Raton on

Could these be built-in hurricane days? Or perhaps they are unofficial "furloughs" so the district doesn't have to pay the teachers (due to budget constraints). ???

If I'm not mistaken Broward County, FL just decided to take off the entire week of Thanksgiving (to save $$).

We are one of the homeschooling families in Florida, and we love it! Heretofore my kids went to private school, so I'm not familiar with what is meant by "non-student" days.

I need a "non-student" day for my homeschool LOL. Seriously, there is a reason teachers get planning days.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Tampa on

Ooooh. As tough as it is on your working schedule it is hard to hear how this does not benefit the children. How early is early release on Mondays? How much time is spared for teachers to plan 2hrs, maybe 3? I was a preschool teacher and would have loved weekly planning time!! The amount of preparation, test scoring, paperwork and organizing involved in a teachers' job is overwhelming. We have observations, assessments, grading tests, correcting homework or other assignments, planning new activities and then keep all the paperwork , supplies and classroom decor organized. We had planning days and most of the time was spent organizing our cabinets. Our days were once a month though and all the other work was on our dime. You also need to do inventory on supplies. Not sure if this is what they do at your school but for the director to not have clear answers to give parents is concerning. Please keep in mind how much effort and "backstage" work is involved to be a good teacher and to improve your child's education. A prepared, organized teacher will have better results for your child than one who never finds time to keep up to date. At our school we have a few days for professional training for teachers as well. New research, findings and approaches are discussed and other requirements to keep teachers certified and current. It can be a burden but so rewarding as well.



answers from Honolulu on

It is for Teacher Planning/meetings/curriculum/and also the teachers need to often do "CE" things (continuing Ed. things).
It is a work day for them.

Or ask the Principal, what exactly it is for?
They also have to do things like this, per their Dept. of Education etc.



answers from Dallas on

how many non-student days are there? our kids typically have one day per month that they get out then entire day & one early release day per month, except in november, december, & march when they have a longer break. there are only so many days that students must be in school per year as long as they are meeting this requirement for the state then there's not a lot that can be done (not that you are trying to do anything)
personally I think its good for kids to get a break every now & then one day off per month doesnt seem like much to me, but if it were more than that I suppose I might become concerned. I like having the kids home, we can take a long weekend road trip if we want without the kids missing school, & we get to have some family time no matter what. although I can understand that for two working parent households it can be inconvenient. but I do feel it is beneficial for kids to have a break, if they are not excessive



answers from Redding on

It's very different from when I was a kid. Summers were longer and vacations were shorter. Holidays celebrated were less.
In California, I believe the number of days required in a school year is 180.
Some schools have the choice of 175.
My kids were always released early on Wednesdays. That went for elementary and high school.
Other days were called "in-service" days where the kids didn't go to school, but the teachers worked according to their contract hours for meetings, workshops, continued education courses, etc.

It does make it hard for working parents, I happen to be a single working mom, but it's always been that way as long as I can remember with my kids. Like I said, things were very different when I was a child.
There was no "President Week", there was no full week for Thanksgiving. We got Thursday, Friday, and the weekend.
To me, it all kind of makes the same difference. When I was a child the summer was longer so the need for daycare was still the need for daycare.
We had after school recreation and summer recreation programs, but not all day every day.
Times have definitely changed and I believe that a lot of it has to do with the budget.
California has closed schools, cut programs, cut teachers.
Thankfully I live in a rural area and our schools are pretty good. The class sizes are fairly small and kids with involved parents are less likely to fall through the cracks.
It does seem that kids are out of school more than they are in sometimes, but at least here, it's just the way they spread the days out.
My relatives back east with kids have changing times when school lets out depending on snow days and other weather, etc. Kids are supposed to attend X amount of days.

Just my take on the situation.



answers from Boston on

Your principal should not only know, but also communicate that to the parents. Our principals always mention what they have planned for those days and follow up with a message outlining what they did. As Lenore Z. mentioned below, these are for a variety of things. There is one coming up this Friday that is to further the implementation of the Response to Intervention (RTI) technique that is being rolled out in our district. Past agendas have included bullying (per a state law put into effect last year), MCAS analysis and prep, rolling out X2 (and on-line grading system), rolling out the Everyday Math curriculum when that was first implemented, etc.

So in that sense, I know that this benefits kids and families and is time well spent. I can see RTI already in effect one week into the school year (it was first introduced in the spring to the teachers and rolled into classrooms this fall), can see that the district actively seeks out the best curricula to improve student performance, I love having grades on-line for middle school and high school and it's a great way to catch problems early and intervene before a whole semester has gone by. Ask your principal - hopefully your district puts these days to good use!



answers from Miami on

I think it is your version of a teacher planning day but you can call your DISTRICT office and ask them. You have a Parent Relations phone number - ###-###-####.

Under state law, there must be 180 days of school. Early release days count as long as they have lunch there (again, part of the legislation regarding early release). Typically, early release is used for teacher and district meetings while teacher planning is closing out a marking period. Your non-student days seem to coordinate with the end of the marking period except for the 3rd quarter. In the old days, teachers would keep grades in a grade book, average them, and then complete bubble sheets which they would turn in at the end of the quarter. Now, they keep grades on a computer, average on the computer, but they have to actually upload all of those grades WHILE at school. It is not something they can do from home. Believe it or not, here in Broward County, on the days that grades need to be uploaded, the computer system will often be oversubscribed so that it can take hours to upload. I've watched my mom and stayed late with her at her school. Technology really didn't help the teachers with grading too much.

Yes, Broward County JUST revised our school calendar about 2 weeks ago to furlough everyone for the Monday and Tuesday of Thanksgiving week. We already had Wednesday, Thursday and Friday off. Now everyone is scrambling for daycare.

It is tough on working parents, but really, I think the teachers are truly getting the shaft - they will not get paid for those furlough days.




answers from Orlando on

I live in Seminole County in Florida and usually there is a reason for the "non-attendance" days. We had 1 last week for Jewish holiday, Rosh Hashanah, we have one this month for "teacher work day". We are off Wed/Thurs/Fri of Thanksgiving week, two weeks for Christmas. January there is one day off for MLK bday. One day in Feb. for Presidents Day. Spring Break in March, Good Friday in April, Memorial Day in May, then half days and out for Summer May30th. I would say this is a typical school schedule. Are you saying you have more days off than this? We used to have built in hurricane days, but they don't do that here anymore. We do have early release every Wednesday (an hour earlier) and that has always been since I was in school here.



answers from Detroit on

every district does it differently.. my last district had a day off per month.. for teacher do someting day.. my new district really only has days off at teh end of each report card and for holidays.. In Michigan they require 1098 hours of class time. most districts do this in about 180 days.. school days are about 7 hours long..(includes lunch..)

There are lots of other days.. that you need childcare for...

Next question: Question for Anyone Who Has Ever Been a Student Teacher?