All but 1 RI school district closed for Good Friday

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – All but one of Rhode Island’s school districts continue to give their students the day off today for Good Friday.

R.I. Department of Education records show 35 of Rhode Island’s 36 public school districts are not holding classes on Good Friday, though a handful attribute the closing to spring vacation rather than the religious holiday.

The one exception is New Shoreham on Block Island, where classes are being held. The district’s superintendent, Judy Lundsten, said a teacher who’s worked at the island’s school for 28 years could not recall a time when Good Friday was a day off there.

Last year New Shoreham was one of two Rhode Island school districts that held classes on Good Friday, along with Pawtucket, but this year Pawtucket’s spring vacation coincides with Good Friday. Pawtucket’s superintendent did not respond to an email asking about the district’s policy going forward.

Good Friday, the most somber day on the Christian calendar, marks the day of Christ’s crucifixion and falls two days before Easter Sunday. Its status caused controversy in Cranston two years ago when officials scrapped it as a school holiday, causing the teachers’ union to sue; it is now a day off in Cranston again.

Ted Nesi (tnesi@wpri.com) covers politics and the economy for WPRI.com. He writes Nesi’s Notes on Saturdays and hosts Executive Suite. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook