Riverside Unified students go back to school on observed New Year's holiday

Ashley Mackey Image
Tuesday, January 3, 2023
Riverside students go back to school on observed New Year's holiday
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While most California schools observed Jan. 2 as the New Year's holiday, schools in the Riverside Unified School District had students back in classrooms.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (KABC) -- While the annual Rose Parade was taking place Monday in Pasadena, students in Riverside were heading back to school and some people weren't too happy about that.

"This is the date that the government is observing it," said Daniel Bryant, a parent of a student in the Riverside Unified School District. "There's no postal service, there's no banks, all these offices are closed. A lot of people are off work and other school districts are off, but here in Riverside they have to go to school today.

Gretchen Fisher is a retired teacher who'd worked in Riverside Unified School District and she said in her almost 25 years of teaching, she doesn't remember ever being in school on an observed holiday and assumes this was an oversight.

"I knew the Rose Parade was on and a couple of bowl games, so I was a little surprised because typically they don't start until after that," Fisher said. "I know it was a holiday today that's observed by a lot of other businesses and government."

Riverside Unified School District said they approved this year's calendar four years ago and decided to observe the New Year's holiday on Dec. 30. Some staff said they're fine with it and are willing to do whatever they need to for their students.

"I'm OK with it," said Celia Magallanez, a health assistant at Fremont Elementary School. "The kids are here. They're able to get up and come to school, I'm able to come to work and be of service for them."

The district also added they are only required to observe the specific holiday dates of Juneteenth and Veterans Day.

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