Close-up of a paper calender.


Cultural dates of significance

ASD serves a diverse population and takes pride in our sensitivity to the various cultures that live in our community. As a public school system we are required by the U.S. Constitution to maintain religious neutrality. We should neither encourage nor discourage religious activity.

The following guidelines and resources are an attempt to more clearly articulate current policy and offer assistance to ASD employees in determining the appropriateness of school activities as they relate to important events and activities around religious holidays and cultural dates of significance.

  • Guidelinesfor planning school activities during the holiday season
  • Sample scenarios in school to determine if school is following policy, created by the Anti-Defamation League
  • explaining policy and how it will affect the classroom
  • Lesson plans - class lessons and activities for inclusive celebrations
  • Staff_Celebration_Ideas – various ways to get the holiday spirit

Dates on which activities* cannot be scheduled

In order to maximize student involvement in school activities and to accommodate the needs of students and families, no after-school activity shall be scheduled or hosted by the district on the dates listed below.


*Activities include but are not limited to: sports team competitions, school open houses, academic competitions, dances, student performances, retreats and student government conferences. This prohibition does not include regular practices or regular club meetings.


The following are days on which activities shall not be scheduled. The board may add or subtract from this list at a single board meeting as long as the action is on the agenda and properly noticed in advance. [Anchorage School Board policy 350.2]


U.S. holidaysObservance

Thanksgiving Day

Nov. 24, 2016 Nov. 23, 2017 
New Year's Day Jan. 1, 2017 Jan. 1, 2018 


Dec. 25, 2016 Dec. 25, 2017 
Good Friday April 14, 2017 March 30, 2018 
Easter April 16, 2017 April 1, 2018 
Christianity/ Orthodox


Jan. 7, 2017 Jan. 7, 2018 
Easter/Pascha April 16, 2017 April 8, 2018 

Eid al Fitr (Breaking of Fast)

July 6, 2016 + June 26, 2017+ 
Eid al Adha (Feast of Sacrifice) Sept. 12, 2016 + Sept. 1, 2017+ 


Rosh Hashana (New Year)

Oct. 3ˆ-4, 2016 Sept. 21ˆ-22, 2017 

Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement)

Oct. 12, 2016ˆ Sept. 30, 2017ˆ 
Pesach (Passover) April 11ˆ-12, 2017 March 31ˆ- April 1, 2018 


ˆThese holidays begin at sundown the previous day. Passover lasts seven days (while some observe eight), however our local Jewish community considers the first two days the most important for seders.


+These holidays begin at sundown the previous day. The Islamic calendar is based on lunar observation. Dates may vary based on local lunar sightings; visit for more information.