By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — For the first time in recent memory, Columbus Day will not be a school holiday in Philadelphia, and some people are upset about that.

Monday, Columbus Day, is a federal holiday. But it will not be a holiday for Philadelphia public schoolchildren.

Michael Paolucci, the executive director of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania Sons and Daughters of Italy, is upset the district has abandoned the holiday.

“They decided that the easy way to do things is to take something away that has been in our history in this country and in this city for years.”

Superintendent Wililam Hite says a calendar committee recommended that Columbus Day be a school day.

“We wanted to end the interrupted weeks. And Columbus Day was one of those days that we identified that we could have children in school, very similar to many of our suburban counterparts.”

Hite says last year the district had so many fall holidays it was nine weeks into the year before students went for a full week of class.

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