In some states, the second Monday of October is known as Indigenous Peoples’ Day. In others, the holiday remains Columbus Day. This year, Indigenous Peoples’ Day/Columbus Day is on Monday, Oct. 9, 2023. Parents, students, and probably even some teachers are wondering if school is closed for Indigenous Peoples’ Day/Columbus Day this year.
The answer simply depends on where you live.
Are most schools open on Columbus Day?
If you’re one of those people curious to know if school is open or on Indigenous Peoples’ Day and Columbus Day, the answer is school probably isn’t closed. Most schools in the United States are open. I tried to find a percentage of schools open or closed for the holiday, and it doesn’t look like anyone has put together that data. However, according to Pew Research, only 16 states are still honoring Columbus Day as an official holiday. Others have ignored the holiday, and some others have changed the holiday to Indigenous Peoples’ Day. In those instances, most schools appear to be in session.
To confirm the opening or closure, you’ll have to check your school district, university, and/or class schedule to know for sure.
Columbus Day, as it’s recognized by the federal government, is an official government holiday. That means banks, the post office, and other federal government offices, organizations, and programs are closed for the holiday on Monday, Oct. 9.
Because most schools and their calendars are managed at the state and even local district/school level, meaning the state works with the federal government to meet federal standards, and they have their own standards in terms of the yearly schedule, most schools will be in session on Indigenous Peoples’ Day and Columbus Day.
With that said, there are states and local districts that do observe Indigenous Peoples’ Day and Columbus Day, including in Washington state, New York City, and other areas, especially on the East Coast.
It’s also possible schools, because the set of holidays and days off vary year to year for each state and school district, could have Columbus Day and Indigenous Peoples’ Day off one year and not the next year and, obviously, vice versa.
We’ll share more updates about school openings and closures for Columbus Day and Indigenous Peoples’ Day as we find out.