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Wisconsin Public School Observance Days: 2022-23

2022-23 School Year Observance Days

Background


Wisconsin's 21 special observance days are part of state statutes governing general school operations (Wis. Stat. sec. 118.02). Federal law has moved the celebration of many legal holidays to Monday, however, state law recommends that each Wisconsin Special Observance Day be held on the day itself. When an observance day falls on a Saturday or Sunday, it should be observed on the preceding Friday or the following Monday.

Honoring observance days can teach the elements of tradition that preserve U.S. society and foster an awareness of our cultural heritage. Observance days can be part of a rich social studies curriculum that gives these individuals and events proper emphasis, both in the context of Wisconsin and U.S. history and in relation to their effect on or improvement of our political, economic, and social institutions.

September 11 Observance Day

09/11/2022
A day to remember the attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, and to honor law enforcement officers and firefighters. If the day falls on a Saturday or Sunday, on a school day immediately preceding or following the respective day, the day shall...

Mildred Fish Harnack Day - 2022

09/16/2022
Wisconsin public school observance day required by statute. Commemorates the only native-born American known to have been executed by the Gestapo in Nazi Germany. Mildred Fish Harnack was born in Milwaukee in 1902. Enacted April 10, 1986, from the...

POW-MIA Recognition Day - 2022

09/17/2022
Wisconsin public school observance day required by statute. Established to recognize those who suffered or suffer captivity in foreign countries while in active service with the U.S. armed forces. By statute, Wis. Stat. sec. 118.02(17), the day is...

Wisconsin Day - 2022

09/21/2022
Wisconsin public school observance day required by statute. Commemorates the assets that make Wisconsin a desirable place to live and work. Falls on the Wednesday of the third week of September, as part of Wonderful Wisconsin Week.   Enacted April...

Bullying Awareness Day - 2022

09/28/2022
Established as one of 21 Wisconsin Public School Observance Days to bring attention to the harmful effects of bullying in the school setting. Bullying may negatively impact a student's connection with school, their engagement with the curriculum,...

Frances Willard Day - 2022

09/28/2022
Wisconsin public school observance day required by statute. Commemorates the Janesville teacher and lecturer who was influential in the early women's movement and was president of the Women's Christian Temperance Union from 1879 until her death in...

Leif Erikson Day - 2022

10/09/2022
Wisconsin public school observance day required by statute. Leif Erikson was born in Iceland and raised in Greenland. Norse sagas written 300 years after his death describe his explorations, around 1000 CE, of a land he called "Vinland." The...

Christopher Columbus Day - 2022

10/12/2022
Wisconsin public school observance day required by statute. The first expedition led by Christopher Columbus sighted land somewhere in the Bahamas on October 12, 1492. Columbus' voyages are recognized as the start of sustained contact between...

Veterans Day - 2022

11/11/2022
Wisconsin public school observance day required by statute (Wis. Stat. sec. 118.02). This observance day commemorates the end of major hostilities of World War I at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. Begun as Armistice Day in...

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day - 2023

01/15/2023
This observance day commemorates the January 15, 1929, birth of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. King was a civil rights leader, minister, and winner of the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize. Born in Atlanta, Georgia, he was assassinated April 4, 1968.   The...

Abraham Lincoln Day - 2023

02/12/2023
Wisconsin School Observance Day honoring the 16th president of the United States. Lincoln was born February 12, 1809, in Hardin County, Kentucky; assassinated 1865. Observed as a federal holiday (Presidents' Day) on the third Monday in February. (...

Susan B. Anthony Day - 2023

02/15/2023
Wisconsin Public School Observance Day honoring the Feb. 15, 1820, birth of Susan B. Anthony, an early suffragist, who organized campaigns across the United States advocating for women's right to vote, get an education, and own property. In 1872,...

George Washington Day - 2023

02/22/2023
Wisconsin School Observance Day honoring the first president of the United States. Washington was born February 22, 1732; died 1799. He is honored for his efforts to create a new nation dedicated to the rights of the people. Observed as a federal...

Casimir Pulaski Day - 2023

03/04/2023
Wisconsin public school observance day required by statute. Commemorates the life of the Poland native who was born in 1747. He came to America in 1777, after fighting for Poland's independence, and joined forces with General George Washington....

"The Great Hunger" in Ireland - 2023

03/17/2023
"The Great Hunger" in Ireland from 1845 to 1850, also known as the Great Famine or Irish Potato Famine, is considered by many to be the most tragic event in Irish history. When an observance day falls on a Saturday or Sunday, it should be observed...

Prisoners of War Remembrance Day - 2023

04/09/2023
Wisconsin Public School Observance Day commemorating the date during World War II when the largest number of Americans were captured in the Conquest of Bataan. Customarily observed through gubernatorial proclamation, the day recognizes those who...

American Creed Day - 2023

04/13/2023
Wisconsin Public School Observance Day recognizing the American's Creed, written in 1917 by William Tyler Page, a messenger in the U.S. House of Representatives. His essay was judged the "best summary of American political faith" in national contest...

Patriots' Day - 2023

04/19/2023
Wisconsin Public School Observance Day to mark the date in 1775 when shots were fired in Lexington, beginning of the Revolutionary War.   Enacted August 30, 2001, from the 2001 Laws of Wisconsin, Act 16 budget bill.   More information and...

Environmental Awareness Day - 2023

04/22/2023
Wisconsin Public School Observance Day, marking the anniversary of Earth Day (April 22, 1970) and urging schools to conduct programs across subject areas to enhance students' understanding of the environment and to promote an ethic of environmental...

Arbor Day - 2023

04/28/2023
The Arbor Day movement began in the 1800s to promote conservation and beautification of the environment. Arbor Day is a Wisconsin School Observance Day and national observance day to encourage people to plant and care for trees. Observed in...

Robert La Follette Sr. Day - 2023

06/14/2023
Wisconsin Public School Observance Day required by statute if school is in session. Commemorates Robert LaFollette, born June 14, 1855, who served in the U.S. House of Representatives, as governor in Wisconsin, and in the U.S. Senate. He was one of...