The vast majority of Newton students, teachers, staffers, and administrators won't be enjoying their usual February vacation this week.

Earlier this month, the Newton School Committee voted unanimously to use February vacation to make up for class time that was missed during the recent teachers' strike.

Federal law requires the district to observe Presidents' Day, February 19. But the following four days, Feb. 20 through Feb. 23, will now be considered official school days.

Parents in Newton are having mixed feelings about the canceled break.

Alison Lobron said she's particularly disappointed, since her teenage son was supposed to take drivers’ ed during his time off. But she said in her mind, the strike was still worth it.

“I was a supporter of the strike, and I understand that it was important what the teachers were trying to accomplish,” Lobron said. “I feel like in the grand scheme of things, the disruption is small compared to what was gained for the educators and our students.”

Massachusetts law requires that schools have at least 180 days of instruction by June 30.

As it stands now, Newton needs to make up a total of 13 school days. That includes an end of school year teacher work day and a day that Franklin Elementary School missed earlier in the year due to an emergency.

Parent Mali Brodt said she would rather have the district get rid of February vacation over April vacation.

“I think the disruption in January was longer than any break that they [students] would have had,” she said. “With all the disruptions that they've had over the past few years, I don't think that it's too much for them to go the length of time without a break.”

Brodt adds that given the pandemic, it's been some time since her children have had a normal school year, so any stretches of consistency are good for them.

During a school committee meeting on Feb. 1, members agreed that students who missed any make-up days this week would not be penalized.

Parent Elise Person said her seventh grader will not be attending school this week, as the family moves ahead with their original plans to visit family.

“His grandparents are in their 80s. He only has one set, and to spend a week with his grandparents is priceless at this point and cannot compare to four days in school that we didn't expect to miss,” Person said.

Person said she isn't too worried about her son missing school, since teachers will largely be reviewing material that he can keep up with remotely.

Meanwhile, Lobron said that her family has plans for April break, so she's hoping for no further disruptions.

“I'm holding my breath, just hoping we don't have any snow days,” she said. “I think that it stinks that the school year is going to go until the end of June, and it's going to be a long stretch from now until April vacation.”