Public schools commonly close in observance of national holidays such as Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and Memorial Day. Holidays such as Christmas and New Year's Day are often part of a winter vacation period.
When schools start before Labor Day, they typically close in observance of this holiday. Labor Day is celebrated the first Monday in September, and it's meant to honor the workers of the country.
The second Monday in October is Columbus Day, and November 11 is Veterans' Day. While schools may conduct activities or lessons to commemorate these holidays, they generally stay in session.
Thanksgiving Day comes on the fourth Thursday in November. The holiday commemorates the feast the Pilgrims held to celebrate the harvest in 1621. Schools usually close on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of that week, though some districts take the whole week off.
The third Monday in January is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, a holiday celebrating the birthday of the Civil Rights leader. Schools close on this day. Schools also close on the third Monday in February in honor of Presidents' Day. The date coincides with the birthday of the first U.S. president, George Washington.
Memorial Day tends to mark the end of the school year. Observed on the last Monday in May, the holiday honors fallen soldiers in all American wars.