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As part of its contract negotiations with the UFT, the DOE revised the 2023–24 school year calendar in late June to add four more days off for students and educators and issued calendars for the following two school years at the same time.
The DOE had released a school calendar on June 2 without giving any notice to the UFT or signing an agreement to renew the pilot workday agreement. The UFT cried foul, but as contract negotiations got back on track and the two sides reached an agreement on a new pilot workday, a revised calendar became part of the final settlement.
The four holidays added to the 2023–24 school calendar are:
- Monday, April 1, Easter Monday.
- Monday, April 29, and Tuesday, April 30, the last two days of Passover.
- Monday, June 17, Eid al-Adha.
As is customary, UFT-represented educators report to work on Tuesday, Sept. 5, the day after Labor Day, and the first day of school for students is Thursday, Sept. 7. The last day of school for students is Wednesday, June 26.
There are several rules in play in terms of holidays that contribute to the way the school calendar looks each year.
Federal holidays that fall on a Saturday are not observed on a weekday. Federal holidays that fall on a Sunday are observed on the following Monday. In 2023, Veterans Day falls on Saturday, Nov. 11, which is why it is not a school holiday.
Former Mayor Bill de Blasio added Chinese New Year, Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha to the school calendar. Mayor Eric Adams then added Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights.
When these and other non-federal holidays fall on a Saturday or Sunday, schools remain open on the weekdays immediately preceding or following those holidays. This school year, Rosh Hashanah and Lunar New Year fall on a weekend.
Contractually, the first two days of Passover and Good Friday are always days off. The remaining days of Passover and Easter Monday are not automatically off.
Spring recess is usually made by combining the days off between Passover and Easter when they are close enough. Because Easter and Passover are far apart in 2024, it complicated the DOE’s task of deciding dates for spring break. In the final calendar, after consultation with the UFT, the city settled on a four-day weekend for Easter in late March and scheduled the spring break over Passover at the end of April.
The state requires the city school system have a minimum of 180 “aidable days,” which are defined as either instructional days or full-day staff professional development days, called Chancellor’s Conference Days in New York City. The 2023–24 school year will have 178 instructional days for students.