Seattle cancels school classes to accommodate massive teacher request for four-day weekend

School administrators suggest vacation day granted to help teacher – and students – deal with pandemic-related fatigue, stress.
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Public school in Arlington, Va.
Public school in Arlington, Va.
(China News Service/Getty)

The Seattle public school system has cancelled classes Friday due to overwhelming requests by teachers for a four-day holiday that couldn’t be accommodated with enough substitute instructors. 

"We are aware of a larger than normal number of SPS staff taking leave on Friday, and do not believe we have adequate personnel to open schools," Seattle Public Schools administrators said in a letter to parents. 

In the letter dated Nov. 9, two days before the start of Veterans Day weekend, the administrators also suggest they have allowed the schools to close to accommodate teachers' pandemic "fatigue" and acknowledge the short notice about the cancellation will leave families scrambling to provide child care on Friday.

"We acknowledge that the high volume of leave requests on a Friday following a federal holiday is indicative of the fatigue that educators and students are experiencing, locally and nationwide 11 weeks into the return to in-class learning," the letter continues. 

"We recognize the late notice creates challenging circumstances for many families. Our hope is that the four-day weekend allows for some level of physical, mental, and emotional rest and recharging." 

Administrators said the missed day will be made up later in the 2021-22 school year.