Holiday a mixed bag for students

Some elementary and intermediate school parents in Burlingame were upset and confused about having to send their kids toschool yesterday despite having the day off from work themselves.

Schools were open on Presidents Day at Burlingame Intermediate School and the city’s five elementary schools. Franklin Elementary School parent Donna Colson was upset that some parents had already planned vacations for the three-day weekend and had to either cancel them or keep their kids out of school.

“To me it is a bit of poor planning,” said Colson, who is a member of the district’s oversight committee to spend $48.3 million in Measure A funds. “It seems sort of strange that kids would be going to school on a federal holiday.”

Burlingame High School, which is part of the San Mateo Union High School District, was closed Monday. That creates problems for parents who have kids in both the high school and lower grades, said Burlingame Intermediate School parent Bert Arnold.

“They give them the day before Thanksgiving off, which is a day when everyone has to work,” Arnold said. “[On Monday] a lot of people had the day off and wanted to spend that day with their kids.”

Superintendent Sonny Da Marto said he had not received any phone calls and had just one e-mail from an upset parent Monday.

The district was closed last week for February break. The districts’ schools are often closed on Presidents Day because it typically falls during the week of February break, he said. But spring break is early this year because Easter, which can fall anywhere between March 22 and April 25, falls on March 23. The district compensated by having the February break a little earlier than usual, according to Da Marto.

“We’re not necessarily looking to have school open on [Presidents Day,],” he said.

At least two elementary school parents, who declined to be named, said Monday that it was pleasant to have their kids away from the house for a day.

But others were not as thrilled.

“Lots of parents are off today and a lot of people left town,” Lincoln Elementary School parent John Kevranian said. “A lot of people are not too pleased about this.”

mrosenberg@examiner.com

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