As with any calendared holiday, as Presidents’ Day nears, students flock to their school’s calendar to see if they’ll be enjoying it at home. The short answer is, if the school in question is a public school, chances are it will be closed on the third Monday of February. That, of course, means a three-day weekend to enjoy the still-chilled weather and the countless sales being held at various retail outlets.
That, however, does not mean all schools are closed for Presidents’ Day. While it varies on a school-by-school basis, certain privately funded schools or trade schools may remain open. Additionally, public schools that need to make up for snow days from earlier in the school year may need to forfeit the holiday to hit the mandated operational days.
In 1885, Presidents’ Day was officially recognized as a federal holiday, though it was initially known as Washington’s Birthday. Up until 1971, it was celebrated strictly on Feb. 22, George Washington’s birthday. President Richard Nixon enacted the Uniform Monday Holiday Act to move the federally recognized Washington’s Holiday to the third Monday of February. It wasn’t until the 1980s that Presidents’ Day started to eclipse Washington’s Holiday, though even today, all federal documentation still references the original name.
Presidents’ Day joins five other federally recognized holidays that many schools close for: Independence Day, Columbus Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. To check your school's Presidents’ Day schedule, be sure to visit the district’s official website. If you’re lucky enough to have the day off, be sure to hop on Netflix and check out its latest release, Everything Sucks! Or, if you’ve been stuck dealing with persistent snowfall, head outside and enjoy the crisp fresh air.