Why Do LAUSD Schools Have Friday Off? It’s Admission Day!

Los Angeles public schools honor the date when California was admitted into the United States by taking off the last Friday of August.

Friday, Aug. 31, is a day off for all Los Angeles public schools (and some private schools). 

And, it has nothing to do with Labor Day.

It’s Admission Day, an official California state holiday that commemorates California being admitted into the United States as the 31st state on Sept. 9, 1850.

The Los Angeles Unified School District observes the anniversary on the last Friday of August—it's a paid holiday for the teachers. This year, with LAUSD schools resuming classes earlier than before, the holiday is figured into the school calendar. The school schedule was changed to align more closely with the two-semester schedule used by most colleges, and to avoid having the three-week winter recess break up the first semester.

“I've heard of it, but I didn’t know it was a holiday, and we would never have known it except for the early schedules for the schools,” said Walter Reed Middle School teacher. “But hey, I’m glad for the day off.”

Even the day of Admission Day is a bit murky. The date of California being admitted into the United States is officially Sept. 9, 1850, but local historians will point to the earlier treaty signed on Jan. 16, 1847, as a more significant moment in history because it ended fighting between the Californians and Mexicans. That Treaty of Cahuenga was signed at the n Studio City across from Universal Studios.

Admission Day is usually recognized on Sept. 9, but because that date falls on Sunday, this year it will be observed on Friday.

Yet, the trick is to find any agency that recognizes it. The Los Angeles Superior Court offices will remain open and the state Employee Development Department will stay open. Certainly banks will remain open. The state budget crisis ended many such holidays, unless it’s considered a furlough day, which means a day off with no pay.

It used to be that Admission Day was more widely celebrated throughout the state. San Francisco had celebrations that lasted three days.

And, every once in a while, a California governor would remind us that Admission Day was a holiday. The most recent proclamation came from Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2005. However, it didn’t mean a paid holiday for state workers.

Anyway, Happy Admission Day!

Check with your schools to see if it's a day off.

Nina Zippay August 27, 2012 at 04:24 AM
Take a random poll of lausd students & see how many know why they have this Friday off. Come on - I dare you. Curious to hear the results and to know how many schools are teaching about admissions day.
Brian Aherne August 27, 2012 at 01:15 PM
Not random, but if a teacher has no clue, it is less likely that his or her students will. A quote from the article demonstrates how thin the knowledge is for one individual, and it seems highly improbable that he is the least informed teacher: “I've heard of it, but I didn’t know it was a holiday, and we would never have known it except for the early schedules for the schools,” said Walter Reed Middle School teacher **** ********. “But hey, I’m glad for the day off.” I removed the name because I see no reason to repeat it, and he does have a clue, although incomplete information. Believe me I am not bagging on teachers, individually or in general. Thank all goodness for teachers.
Angel August 27, 2012 at 04:42 PM
These back-to-back holidays were one of the major reasons that LAUSD did not start school until after Labor Day. Now within three weeks of starting, they'll have a four-day weekend, and two more unassigned days before the end of September. Add that into the six days they have off in November, and if they just got rid of the unnecessary holidays, they could start at a more reasonable end of August and still finish before Christmas.
AFG August 27, 2012 at 06:07 PM
So true and then some, but they wouldn't have gotten to waste quite as much money on air conditioning, right? LOL
Kathy August 27, 2012 at 09:18 PM
Any excuse to give teachers another day off.....
Kathy August 27, 2012 at 09:45 PM
I agree. I left a comment that it was another day off for the teachers, but my comment was not approved and did not appear. I don't know who is doing the censoring. Perhpas this will be censored also. Amazing, as it's basically agreeing with other approved comments.
Kathy August 27, 2012 at 10:43 PM
Dawn, I agree with you. My last two comments agreeing with this concept were censored, but I have no idea why. I'll try again. I'd like to know why my polite comments that agree with others were censored.
Kathy August 27, 2012 at 11:28 PM
Hmmmmm, let's try it again..........Teachers just want another holiday!
Brian Aherne August 27, 2012 at 11:56 PM
To Kathy- Are you sure your comments were censored? I count four of them. Did you leave more?
Kathy August 28, 2012 at 05:24 AM
I notice they were all released at 4:41.....they must have been 'at bay' for a few hours. I kept checking back to see if they were posted, but for some reason they were all delayed.
Kathy August 28, 2012 at 05:27 AM
How did this show up on the Studio City Patch???? I was responding to the Eagle Rock Patch. At one time I got shifted over to some Beach Patch...I think it was Venice or something and I had to get out of that. Who's hadling this "Patch" or whatever it is???
EricAppleworthy August 28, 2012 at 02:25 PM
The long holiday weekend should not be at the expense of the children. Schools are about educating the children. The schools are not about long weekends and early retirement programs for the teachers.
AFG August 28, 2012 at 05:19 PM
@Eric: What early retirement program for teachers? Teachers have wanted the same as the city has for years now, which is if you have worked for 30 years and are at least 55 then you can retire. LAUSD has always voted no on that option. Teachers have to be at least 62, I believe, to retire, with a full pension. Anything less drastically reduces the pension. Are you referring to several years ago when the district offered an incentive payment to older teachers so they would retire? They did that in order to save money. Getting rid of an older teacher at the top of the pay scale and replacing him with a young one can save a lot of money. The school year has a certain number of days in it (used to be 180) and due to budget cuts LAUSD cut that back which is not to the benefit of the children.
Brian Aherne August 28, 2012 at 08:07 PM
Several things you need to know, aside from the general fact that there are several misleading or misdirected points in your post, along with some that are correct: The retirement system for teachers is a state system, not a local one to be voted on by the LAUSD. While the formula for calculating retirment is available, and is changed from time to time, the most important factors are age, years of teaching service, and income factor during final three years (under some circumstances this last factor may be just one year, and there are a few wiggles in the other factors too). Under the system, age 62, except in some circumstances, is the optimum age for retirement. LAUSD, far more than most districts, seemingly on a "who you know" basis(and I am sure that this basis would be denied), bumps the income of many of its teachers by providing them with high paying special jobs in the last one to three of their service. This is a great and often misunderstood subject, and I am sorry it is so far off the track of the article itself.
Brian Aherne August 29, 2012 at 12:23 AM
Folks, the state requires so many instructional days, and the districts have broad latitude in scheduling those days. Nonetheless, in the LAUSD scheme of things there is considerable tension between the district management and the teachers' union, as well as other unions representing non-teacher personnel. I suspect this is one of those matters that was floated among the various interests, I have no clue as to where it started, and the representatives of the various interests either liked it or had no strong objections. I really doubt that any rank and file, including principals, were consulted. Please post if you have actual evidence that I am incorrect.
Jennifer N August 29, 2012 at 02:31 PM
Teachers are not getting paid for this day. It is a furlough day. Rest assured your school board and superintendent are saving thousands by extracting a day from every teachers paycheck this month (and all the rest) while they waste millions on AC, calendar change, consultants, drivers, scripted programs from publishers they're invested with etc. These days off, days taken away from instruction, days that cause child care issues for families, are the very things "union thugs" try to fight against.
AFG August 29, 2012 at 02:48 PM
LAUSD never does one single thing without making sure it benefits the big wigs on some level. When are the taxpayers going to stand up and demand better from them? For forever people ask me, "What happened to the lottery money?" They are very proficient wasters of money and resources and their decisions always appear somewhat stupid. Did they even consider the AC costs? No, probably not. Did they even consider that a schedule change that would use less energy and provide more instructional days would better benefit the students MORE than finishing the semester before Christmas? We need to force them to listen starting with our local ERHS that is rapidly taking a downward turn under mismanagement by Velasco. We also need to vote to initiate a system that better chooses a qualified superintendent than the system that's now in place and perhaps then we will end up with a real qualified superintendent and not one who lied on his job application. Where else would they still hire you after they fond that out? Nowhere but LAUSD. Teachers need to ban together. The union needs to toughen up and the taxpayers need to say "NO MORE". Let's start with meeting about Velasco and ERHS.
Michael Larsen August 29, 2012 at 03:59 PM
@Jennifer, I've uploaded the official LAUSD calendar to this article. Everyone can clearly see for themselves that this Friday, Aug 31 is a Holiday and not a Furlough Day which would be indicated by a "FH". I don't know whether or not all Holidays are paid days off for LAUSD staff and administrators.
Jennifer N August 29, 2012 at 04:33 PM
Micheal, for parents it is listed as a holiday. But I could show you my time card which is not marked holiday. Teachers agreed to 10 "furlough" days this year, notice on your calendar there are only 6 marked as furlough.
Michael Larsen August 29, 2012 at 04:46 PM
It's not my calendar. It's LAUSD's calendar. I think it's important to settle whether or not this is a paid holiday for LAUSD staff. Mr. Szysmanski has asserted that it is a paid holiday. Maybe he can share his source.
ERHS Moms August 29, 2012 at 05:43 PM
Why does it matter whether or not it is a paid holiday or a furlough day? The teachers had no choice either way. They never ask them to vote on furlough days, etc., even though they should because it is the teachers who are not being paid for them after all. Perhaps teachers would have preferred to start school a few days later than to have a week at Thanksgiving. Perhaps the environment would have benefitted with less AC. No one is considering what several furlough days in a row is doing to their paychecks. It's just like this summer. They waited too long to decide about the furloughs and consequently they didn't allocate them in a employee friendly manner. All those days coming out of the same check this summer. We all know that LAUSD didn't assign it's calendar to benefit the students, don't we? The last thing they did to benefit students was to lower the class size in the '90's and we all know what happened to that.
Rebecca Whitnall (Editor) August 29, 2012 at 06:43 PM
Hi Kathy, when a story affects more than one Patch area, like this one does, editors will sometimes choose to cross post them rather than rewrite the exact same story. All the comments will then be "attached" to the original post - wherever that may be; however, everyone reading any of the sites on which it was posted can read all the comments (just as I can read yours but am the editor way over in Woodland Hills). I know this can be confusing, but it also allows for greater conversation in the comments section, as it draws from a wider group of people affected by whatever the issue is. Hope that explains it! --Becca
Brian Aherne August 29, 2012 at 07:17 PM
I cannot directly dispute your statements, but the evidence that something is amiss would be stronger if your support went beyond the "everyone knows" sort. As I see it (and I am not all that knowledgeable), on one hand you are complaining about the holidays not being "allocated" in an employee friendly manner, or for the benefit of the students. If the teachers had no direct input, and, by implication, neither did the other employees, the question is who did,and why were the dates selected? That is what I'd really like to know. Moreover do the unions speak for the employees or not? The power centers that can see -and they are not all equal- are the administration (superintendent), the Board, the teachers' union, the teachers, the union or unions representing the non-teacher employees, the other employees, the principals (site administrators), the PTA/PTSA, the parents, and the students. While I suspect the administration still decides the calendar, is input from any of the other groups allowed, sought or required for the process? What does ERHS stand for?
Jennifer N August 29, 2012 at 07:37 PM
I think it is the wording that is causing problems. Furlough implies a day off for no pay. Teachers agreed to 10 days, but the district can only shorten the year by 7 school days. So what happens to the other 3 days? The money is taken from holiday pay. I assure you, my time card for Friday does not show a paid holiday. ERHS Moms, teachers did vote to take these ten furlough days with pink slips in hand and the promise of our jobs back if we voted for them. We do not, however, make the calendar.
ERHS Moms August 29, 2012 at 08:18 PM
I know you voted for 10 furloughs in order to save colleagues jobs, which in the case of ERHS (Eagle Rock HIgh School) did not happen. What I meant was that the teachers did not vote on which days those furloughs would be (ie. Thanksgiving week). I remember when school based management was all the trend promising that each school could make it's calendar, which also didn't happen. Since these furloughs have seriously impacted the lives of teachers, along with ridiculously huge class sizes I think that the district could have at least had the courtesy to give teachers the vote as to when they would be taken. The days so impact teachers and their families that care should be taken to not take several out of one check, like what happened this summer. I should have said that everyone who is a teacher or is close to a teacher knows the above, not everybody in general.
Brian Aherne August 29, 2012 at 11:31 PM
Who decides on the calendar, and who has official input to that person or body?
Jennifer N August 30, 2012 at 02:29 PM
The calendar is devised by the administration at Beaudry, and approved by your elected school board. The board is extremely receptive to parental input, check out a meeting, send them an email.
Brian Aherne August 30, 2012 at 02:55 PM
One suspects the board, as a political body, is receptive, but a rubber stamp for such matters The amorphous "administration" is probably the place where any meaningful input occurs.
Deborah Dietrich August 30, 2012 at 03:47 PM
I completely agree with you, Lisa. It's ridiculous, unhealthy, and ecologically unsound to have Los Angeles schools in session in August, especially this year's August with 90-degree-plus days every single day! With no relief of recess, learning takes a dive, as does attitude. June is way better, weather-wise, for being inside and playing outside. To me this four-day weekend feels like a gift that may help the sting of August school... a bit.
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