Arlington wants to add 4 religious holidays to school calendar

Parents, community members and employees of Virginia’s Arlington Public Schools are being asked to weigh in on a school calendar for the 2021-2022 school year that adds four religious holidays as days off.

The one-question survey asks whether there is support for Arlington’s draft calendar that would add the following holidays:

  • Rosh Hashanah — Sept. 7, 2021
  • Yom Kippur — Sept. 16, 2021
  • Diwali — Nov. 4, 2021
  • Eid — May 3, 2022

The school year would run from Aug. 23 to June 17.

Click to enlarge Arlington’s draft calendar for the 2021-2022 school year. (Courtesy Arlington Public Schools)

The survey is open until Oct. 30. It asks whether a later or earlier start to the school year is preferred and whether the community has other suggestions for the school system to consider.

Under the proposed calendar, the winter break would start Dec. 20 and students would return to classes Jan. 3. Spring break would be the school week of April 11 to April 15.

The school year would go later into June to not only add the new holidays, but to add two full days of parent-teacher conferences for parents with elementary school children, according to the school system.

The school system said it wants to align with other neighboring jurisdictions since 52% of its staffers work outside Arlington County.

The committee reviewing the calendar meets Nov. 2. The superintendent is expected to propose a calendar to the school board Nov. 17, and a vote could come by the board on Dec. 3.

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