San Francisco students attend school after shift to Presidents Day

SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) -- Presidents Day meant a three-day weekend for kids in most Bay Area school districts, but not in San Francisco.

Students spent Monday in classes after school district officials took the unusual step of shifting celebration of the federal holiday to Friday to follow Thursday's Lunar New Year holiday.

"This decision is really very much a reflection of the community that we serve, which is predominantly Asian," San Francisco Unified School District spokeswoman Gentle Blythe told KTVU. "And we know that Thursday, the Lunar New Year's a really important day for them."

The Lunar New Year school holiday has been celebrated in San Francisco since 2006. The plan to shift the Presidents Day holiday has been in the works since 2013.

The school district began publicizing the holiday schedule after it was approved in January last year and recently made robocalls to remind parents.

School officials say while it may inconvenience some, it simply makes sense to give students a four-day weekend.

"We knew if students had off on Monday and Thursday but not on Friday, that we would see a really high level of absences on Friday," said Blythe.

Parent Gina Daldoza said she'll have to take off two days from work.

"It's going to be really a problem," said Daldoza. "If we can't take the day off, then we have to pay a sitter, spend more money."

But other parents call the shifted schedule a blessing.

"This will give the chance for the children to learn about the Chinese culture," Janette Liu. "I will take time out from Thursday and Friday to celebrate Chinese New Year. Only once a year, right?"