Religious Holiday Policy Update

Dear Parents,

Quakers believe in continual revelation. As a Quaker school, we embrace that precept by continuing to reflect and seek ways to strengthen our academic program and sense of community. This guiding principle also informs our decision-making, which includes revisions to our academic calendar. 

Every year around this time, the school carefully plans next year’s academic calendar with a lot to consider: the number of school days and hours, the start of school, in-service days, report writing days, parent-teacher conferences, national holidays, winter and spring breaks, and the date for graduation. This year, we added for consideration evolving our religious holiday policy to further enhance our academic program and reduce student anxiety, while honoring the religious diversity within our community. The proposed change to the existing religious holiday policy reads:

In alignment with its mission to embrace diversity and with a focus on maintaining the integrity of our academic program, Friends Select School is closed on the following religious holidays: Rosh Hashanah (first day), Yom Kippur, Good Friday, Eid al-Adha, and Eid al-Fitr. 

In the proposed revision, any student will continue to be allowed to observe their religious holiday if we are open for school and afforded the same privileges as when we’re closed. 

The conversation about the rhythm of the calendar started with the faculty and staff two years ago, and we believe it is also important to allow students and parents to share their thoughts about any changes we are considering. That is why we held morning and afternoon meetings with parents on Wednesday, December 12. We will finalize a calendar by the end of January and will communicate it to our community as soon as it is available.

If you have any questions or concerns, please email headofschool@friends-select.org. Once again, as a school community, we welcome the opportunity to learn and grow as we seek truth and inclusivity together. It is a privilege to work with such a reflective, thoughtful group of students, parents, staff, and faculty. 

Warmly,

 

Michael Gary
Head of School