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Carlisle school board turns down a request to make Veterans Day a holiday off for students

The Sentinel - 1/22/2024

Jan. 22—Carlisle Area School District has no plans to make Veterans Day a holiday for students.

The school board last week approved a district calendar for the 2024-25 school year. During a committee meeting in early January, board president Paula Bussard read the contents of a letter she received from Rick Olson, commander of VFW Post 477 in Carlisle.

Olson asked the board to replace Columbus Day with Veterans Day as a day off for students.

"We would ask that you would recognize the men and women who defended our country in times of war and peace," Olson wrote.

Bussard said that many district schools conduct ceremonies on Veterans Day

"The one at Lamberton Middle School includes a speaker," she said. "The children honor current and past individuals."

Prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Lamberton staff invited to each ceremony veterans from the Chapel Pointe retirement community across South Hanover Street from the school building. Bussard has attended other ceremonies at Crestview and LeTort elementary schools.

The ceremonies provide a learning opportunity for students to interact directly with retired and active duty military personnel as opposed to being at home playing videos games and watching Disney+, Bussard argued.

Last week, Bussard said the district and community recognizes the value of current military personnel and those who have served in the past. However, the board is not looking to change the calendar at this time, she said.

Board member Bruce Clash asked if there's a downside to swapping out Columbus Day for Veterans Day as a holiday.

"Well, it's not a perfect fit," Superintendent Colleen Friend said. "If you look at Columbus Day, that's actually a professional development day. It would not be a pure day off."

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