Office of the Superintendent of Schools William H. Lupini, Ed.D.

October 2, 2012

Dear Parents and Guardians:

One of the key characteristics of The Public Schools of Brookline is our diversity, which is celebrated by all members of this community of learners. Our core value of “Respect for Human Differences” states that “[w]e are committed to acknowledging and celebrating the diversity within our community while affirming the importance of our common humanity.” This diversity is part of what makes our school system such an amazing place to teach and learn.

The assignment of homework over “days of low attendance” and other religious/cultural holidays is an issue often raised by parents and students. Following is a set of procedures that guide the practice of assigning homework, as aligned to the School Committee “Homework” policy. Effective immediately, please utilize these regulations when considering assignments over religious/cultural holidays:

Category 1

  • The school system calendar for The Public Schools of Brookline recognizes certain religious holidays by designating them as “days of low attendance” or imbedding them within school vacations. This “day of low attendance” designation is utilized when absences by staff and students would impact the ability to conduct classes on that date.
  • In order to provide students with the opportunity to fully observe such holidays, no homework shall be assigned in any class for all students on the last day of school before the holiday. This does not apply when the holiday falls within a longer school vacation.
  • Homework assignments, projects, presentations or other assignments shall not be due and tests shall not be administered until at least the second class meeting beyond the holiday, even in the case of a longer school vacation.
  • These days are as follows: Rosh Hashanah (Day 1), Yom Kippur, Christmas, Good Friday and Easter.

Category 2

  • A second group of religious/cultural holidays are celebrated by a significant portion of our school population, but are not presently recognized as “days of low attendance” on the school system calendar. Therefore, school is in session on each of the days within this group.
  • In order to provide students with the opportunity to fully observe such holidays, no homework shall be assigned in any class for all students on the last day of school before the holiday.
  • Homework assignments, projects, presentations or other assignments shall not be due and tests shall not be administered until at least the second class meeting beyond the holiday.
  • These days are as follows: Eid al-Fitr, Lunar New Year and Passover (Day 1).

Category 3

  • These religious/cultural holidays impact a smaller number of our students than days in the categories above.
  • While school is in session on these days, students who are unable to complete a homework assignment due to this type of religious/cultural observance should inform the teacher, who will arrange with the student an alternative time for completion of the work, without loss of credit. Parents are also encouraged to contact the teacher regarding these observances.
  • These days include, but are not limited to, the following: Rosh Hashanah (Day 2), Sukkot, Eid al-Adha, Diwali, Chanukah (Day 1), Winter Solstice, Kwanzaa, Passover (other dates) and Shavuot.

No homework shall be assigned over the Thanksgiving break. Furthermore, projects, presentations or other assignments shall not be due and tests shall not be administered until at least the second class meeting beyond this break.

The Public Schools of Brookline will publish a list of religious/cultural celebrations in all three categories on a yearly basis. The 2012-2013 list is attached to this email.

I am proud to serve in a school system where people commit themselves to honoring the diversity of our students, families and staff. Honoring these religious/cultural celebrations is a tangible way to demonstrate our commitment to the diversity in Brookline.

Sincerely,

William H. Lupini, Ed. D. (bill_lupini null@null brookline NULL.k12 NULL.ma NULL.us)
Superintendent of Schools


The Public Schools of Brookline
Religious and Cultural Observances

Category 1
Rosh Hashanah (Day 1) September 17, 2012
Yom Kippur September 26, 2012
Christmas December 25, 2012
Good Friday March 29, 2013
Easter March 31, 2013
Category 2
Eid al-Fitr August 31, 2012
Lunar New Year February 10, 2013
Passover (Day 1) March 26, 2013
Category 3
Rosh Hashanah (Day 2) September 18, 2012
Sukkot (2 Days) October 1, 2012
October 2, 2012
Eid al-Adha October 26, 2012
Diwali November 13, 2012
Chanukah (Day 1) December 9, 2012
Winter Solstice December 21, 2012
Kwanzaa December 26, 2012
Passover (other dates) March 27, 2013
April 1, 2013
April 2, 2013
Shavuot (2 Days) May 15, 2013
May 16, 2013
Thanksgiving Vacation November 22 through November 25, 2012
 

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