Students in local school districts get a longer break this week.

Area school districts opted to give students the entire week off for Thanksgiving. The reasons for the longer vacation varies from district to district.

The Plummer-Worley superintendent, Judi Sharrett, said that student attendance is a factor on why the district decided to give the entire week off to students.

“We’ve found in the past the attendance rate goes way down during the week of Thanksgiving break,” Ms. Sharrett said. “Consequently our calendar committee recommended to the school board when setting the calendar to have parent teacher conferences during the same week.”

Ms. Sharrett said that teachers can also get a longer week off as well if they put in enough hours to prepare for the parent conferences.

“Wednesday is a flex day for teachers,” Ms. Sharrett said. “This means if the teacher has put in eight hours of extra time to prepare for conferences and the oncoming trimester, she or he can have Wednesday off.”

The St. Maries School District superintendent, Alica Holthaus, said that the week off for students was a result of working with the schedule over the past few years.

“There are certain points we want to make sure to get on the calendar, and this year it just kind of worked out that way,” Ms. Holthaus said.

Ms. Holthaus said that the way the district schedules days off for students is open for discussion in the future. She said that anyone with suggestions on how the district should schedule the school year, to give her a call at the district office.

“I’m trying to get feedback from parents. This year we wanted to just try scheduling the whole week off and see if people like it,” Ms. Holthaus said. “We would love to hear from everyone because we want to build a schedule that everyone likes.”

The Kootenai School district students also take the whole week off for Thanksgiving. The superintendent, Dennis Kachelmier, said that providing more time off for students will help them and their families better prepare for Thanksgiving.

“Families, including staff, can get a little more time to travel before the last minute at Thanksgiving,” Mr. Kachelmier said. “Most districts I have worked with in the past normally went through Tuesday in order to get a few more activity dates in, and maybe shorten the school year.”

He said that the district will review the scheduling decision after they hear back from students and their families after Thanksgiving break.

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