Fayette school attendance was down Jan. 2. Did classes resume too soon?

Attendance was down 5 percentage points in Fayette County Public Schools on Monday, Jan. 2.

While Fayette schools were in session, other area school districts and businesses were closed, observing the day as a holiday because New Year’s Day fell on Sunday.

The district’s average daily attendance for this school year has been 95.16 percent. The Jan. 2 attendance was 90.49 percent district-wide, according to pupil personnel director Steve Hill.

Some people expressed concerns on the Fayette County Public Schools Facebook page that children had to attend school when many parents had the day off.

One of them, identified as Cindy Stewart, suggested that school should resume classes the Wednesday after New Year’s Day because people were traveling, returning from holiday destinations.

“I agree,” Jessica Hope Rose posted New Year’s Day on Facebook. “We are driving back from Florida today.”

School district officials responded on Facebook that “the school board decided to give families two full weeks off rather than go to school the week of December 19 in order to return midweek in January.”

“We have had calls,” Hill told the Herald-Leader on Friday. “In future calendar committee discussions, we will certainly take a closer look when this scenario presents itself again.”

The return date likely won’t be an issue next school year.

District officials have approved a calendar for 2017-18 showing classes will resume after the Christmas break on Jan. 3, 2018 — that’s a Wednesday, two days after New Year’s Day.

Valarie Honeycutt Spears: 859-231-3409, @vhspears