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.
- Special days memo, revised August 6, 2014; includes special days calendar for 2014-15. See below for list of dates on which activities cannot be scheduled.
- School Board Policy (Memo 2007 #02) - School Board Policy Addition: Section 350.2 Scheduling Procedures for Cultural Dates of Significance (Second Reading)
- School board policy section 350 - Addressing Religious Beliefs and Customs
- Religious accommodations frequently asked questions
- 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]
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|
|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 www.alaskamasjid.com for more information.