LEWISTON — The School Committee voted unanimously Monday night to observe Juneteenth as a paid holiday this year following its designation as a federal holiday last year.

As a federal holiday, the school is required to observe it. The vote was solely to designate it as a paid holiday for staff.

Juneteenth, which is celebrated June 19, commemorates the end of slavery in the U.S. It falls on a Sunday this year and will be observed Monday, June 20.

There are 11 federal holidays according to U.S. law, including Martin Luther King Jr. day added in 1983.

Due to the addition of Juneteenth, June 24 will be the final day of classes. However, students could get out a week earlier if the district’s school day waiver is granted by the Department of Education, Superintendent Jake Langlais said.

The waiver would allow the district to have fewer than the state-mandated 175 days of school.

Discussions with the state regarding the waiver application are ongoing, Langlais said.

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