While most public schools in Massachusetts were closed for Good Friday, Old Rochester's school district decided to stay open. It's not the first time this issue has been discussed at Old Rochester. It seems to come up each year.

The Old Rochester School Committee assembles and approves the school calendar. Member Joe Pires was against the idea of having Good Friday as a regular school day, claiming the district is missing an opportunity.

"Typically, Good Friday has always been the right day to take off because it's a win-win," he said. "A high percentage of families respect that day and they are accustomed to having Good Friday off. Additionally, ORR Principal Mike Devoll has stated that they utilize that day for personal advancements, and training teachers and staff."

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Pires said that when this year's school calendar was discussed, other school committee members were against the idea of closing schools for the Christian holiday.

"They said in the spirit of equity, if we're going to have equity in all of these other areas, why should we be giving Good Friday off to one particular religion?"

How Was Good Friday Attendance?

At Old Rochester Junior High School on Good Friday, 91 out of 429 students were absent. There were 26 student absences at the school the day prior.

At Old Hammondtown School in Mattapoisett, there was a 16% absentee rate on Good Friday while that school typically has single-digit absentee rates.

READ MORE: The Weird Connection Between the Weather and Good Friday

Old Rochester Regional High School students reported attending classes with only five students where there are normally 20 or more.

"It doesn't make any sense," Pires said. "Why are we having teachers come in to teach a handful of kids on Good Friday when they're going to have to repeat the material the next time the entire class is together?"

Old Rochester Superintendent of Schools Michael Nelson could not be reached for comment.

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