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

New Year's Day

Jan. 1, 2015 Jan. 1, 2016
Thanksgiving Day Nov. 27, 2014 Nov. 26, 2015


Dec. 25, 2014 Dec. 25, 2015
Good Friday April 3, 2015 March 25, 2016
Easter April 5, 2015 March 27, 2016
Christianity/ Orthodox


Jan. 7, 2015 Jan. 7, 2016
Easter/Pascha April 12, 2015 May 1, 2016

Eid al Fitr (Breaking of Fast)

July 29, 2014 + July 18, 2015 +
Eid al Adha (Feast of Sacrifice) Oct. 5, 2014 + Sept. 24, 2015 +


Rosh Hashana (New Year)

Sept. 25ˆ-26, 2014 Sept. 14ˆ-15, 2015

Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement)

Oct. 4, 2014ˆ Sept. 23, 2015ˆ
Pesach (Passover) April 4ˆ-5, 2015 April 23ˆ-24, 2016


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.