Students in the Killeen and Copperas Cove school districts will have the entire week off for the Thanksgiving holiday.
While it has become more the norm in recent years, this is a change from how previous generations enjoyed the holiday.
The change is partly due to the Texas Legislature revising how the districts calculate education time, according to DeEtta Culbertson, spokeswoman for the Texas Education Agency.
“State law used to require a minimum of 180 days” of education time for students, Culbertson said. In 2015, the Texas Legislature changed that to 75,600 minutes per school year.
That breaks down to an average of 420 minutes per school day.
“The districts are being flexible with their time,” Culbertson said.
This flexibility allows districts to arrange their schedules so students can have the entire Thanksgiving week off school, yet still meet state requirements, Culbertson added.
Formerly, schools closed for a four-day weekend: Thanksgiving Day, the Friday after, Saturday and Sunday.
School districts in many northern cities continue this tradition. Milwaukee, New York City, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia all have those days off posted on their academic calendars.
Austin ISD is giving students and staff the entire Thanksgiving week off for the first time this school year.
Other Texas school districts also take the entire week off: Round Rock, Houston, Lake Travis, Pflugerville, Leander-Cedar Park and Hays County, for instance.