The month of November has always been a bit fractured when it comes to New Jersey schools. Out of the nine months school is in session, this is the only one that's broken up in such a unique way.

The teacher's convention has been happening during the month of November in The Garden State for a very long time. It almost exclusively occurs two weeks before the Thanksgiving holiday.

Some schools take three days off the week of the convention, utilizing that Wednesday as a development day in some districts. Or, they may simply make that Wednesday an early dismissal.

But even for districts that don't do that, they'll still be closed that Thursday and Friday. Then, two weeks later, the process repeats with Thanksgiving and Black Friday.



More likely than not, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving will also be an early dismissal. And sometimes, the week in between is also fractured.

The week before Thanksgiving, some districts have parent-teacher conferences. As a result, some of the days might have early dismissals.

The bottom line is this. When it comes to the month of November, New Jersey's public schools usually go at least three weeks in a row without a regular full schedule.

And that's where the improvement on the schedule needs to come into play. Not so much on how the conventions are executed, but when they're executed.

Maksim Pasko
Maksim Pasko

Instead of having such a fractured month, why not just give the kids a full fall break? You can't move Thanksgiving, but you should be able to shift the teacher's convention.

Since the convention is typically two days long, why not have it on the Monday and Tuesday before Thanksgiving? Then just keep that Wednesday before Thanksgiving off.

And for districts that do parent-teacher conferences the week before Thanksgiving, just keep them where they are. Or, perhaps have them occur on the back half of the week so the early dismissals line up with the end of the week.

This also makes more sense for the kids and parents. If families were looking to travel for Thanksgiving, now they'll have an entire week off with multiple days free ahead of the holiday rush to get where they need to be.


As for the teachers? It'll benefit them as well. They would've had to teach those few days before Thanksgiving anyway, so what's the difference if they're at the convention or in the classroom?

Teachers and staff would still benefit the day before Thanksgiving under a structure like the one above. For example, instead of teaching that Wednesday before, they'd also have it off altogether.

School districts in other states have a proper fall break, and we should too. Instead of having a fractured November, let's improve the teacher's convention schedule to align it with the Thanksgiving holiday so it makes more sense for everyone.

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The above post reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 Sunday morning host Mike Brant. Any opinions expressed are his own.

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