Gloucester Township's public school students have been given an early Christmas present this year.
Black Horse Pike Regional School District (BHPRSD) and Gloucester Township Public Schools (GTPS) officials have decided to extend their districts' winter breaks by one day, opting to keep their buildings closed on Monday, Jan. 2.
Schools in both districts will now open for the first day of 2012 classes on Tuesday, Jan. 3.
The calendars adopted by both districts' boards earlier this year had their schools re-opening from the winter break on Monday, Jan. 2.
Most districts in New Jersey, however, are not re-opening until Jan. 3, according to BHPRSD Superintendent John Golden, so the local districts decided to follow the calendars adopted by the majority of districts by observing the New Year's holiday on Jan. 2.
Golden noted the two local districts were two of four in Camden County scheduled to re-open on Jan. 2. One of the other two is also planning to adjust its calendar, he said.
The GTPS website now includes a scrolling message noting the calendar change. Its board is expected to vote on the change at its meeting Monday night.
The BHPRSD website also notes the calendar change.
BHPRSD's final day of class before winter break is Thursday, Dec. 22. It will be a full day.
The final day of class for GTPS before winter break is Friday, Dec. 23, when the district will be operating on a half-day schedule.
Golden on Wednesday indicated officials were planning to deliver the information to students' and staff members' homes through the district's automated telephone system Thursday night. The superintendent added students will also be sent home with letters noting the calendar adjustment.
The BHPRSD board will be asked to ratify the calendar change at a future meeting, having already held its December meeting.
Both districts will have to add a day to their calendars to make up for the extra winter break day.
BHPRSD will add the day to the end of the year, according to Golden. Assuming there are no snow days to make up, the last day of school for Highland, Timber Creek and Triton high schools will be Thursday, June 14.
Check back with GT Patch next week to find out when the GTPS board will decide to have its students make up the extra winter break day.