Sunday, December 20, 2015

Diversity of holidays

While Augusta County was the focus of the Arabic script controversy Thursday, my home county debated changing its policy of closing schools on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.
Students have not gone to school on those days since my era in the late 1970s.
Other groups want their days off as well.
Rabbi Grossman of Beth Shalom suggested that the board maintain school closings on the Jewish high holidays for the 2016 to 2017 academic calendar while collecting the data necessary to make a decision about school holidays for later years.
"If helpful, the Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, and Chinese communities are ready to undertake a joint study to assess absences on our most important holidays," she said. "The Jewish community advocates respect and accommodation for all religious and cultural traditions. That is why we support school closure not only on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur but also on Eid al-Adha, Eid al-Fitr, Diwali and Lunar New Year — in total only 6 days over the entire school year."
You've got to do 180 days of school, usually covering 39 to 42 weeks.
You've either got to reduce the current holiday lists, or shrink summer break.

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