PASCO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — The Pasco County School District is introducing a new approach to the school calendar in the 2024-2025 school year to combat chronic absenteeism.

The new schedule will include several “four-day mini breaks strategically placed throughout the years,” the district said.

The extended weekends will be held from Oct. 12-15, 2024, Feb. 14-17, 2025, and April 18-21, 2025.

The school district hopes the added breaks will encourage families to take trips or schedule appointments during these days, to boost attendance during scheduled contact days.

“This forward-thinking initiative not only benefits students but also accommodates the needs of parents and guardians who often struggle to coordinate family vacations with the academic calendar,” the district added.

Pasco County Schools listed five benefits of the new schedule including improved student engagement, tackling chronic absenteeism, empowering parents and guardians, increased classroom instructional hours, and strengthening family bonds.

The district said they hope the more frequent, shorter breaks with foster a harmonious balance between education and family life.