Loudoun County weighs adding diverse holidays to school calendar

Loudoun County’s school board is considering three options for the 2021-2022 calendar that could add religious holidays to reflect the diverse community.

In a virtual meeting Tuesday, the school board said it was considering a motion by member Harris Mahedavi, of the Ashburn District, to add Muslim, Hindu and Jewish holidays to the traditional school calendar. All three options would have students begin the school year Aug. 26, 2021.

Option B would add the Jewish Day of Atonement Yom Kippur, the Hindu festival of lights Diwali, and Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan for Muslims.

Option C would also include the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah.

Though the final day for students under Option A would be June 15, options B and C would extend the year until June 17.

Loudoun County is weighing adding diverse holidays to their school calendar. (Courtesy Loudoun County School Board)

In addition, the school board members asked staff to add Election Day to the calendar, since both Virginia and the county have added it as a paid government holiday.

The school board is soliciting public input to the proposed changes, but will not tally preferences in an official survey.

Board Chair Brenda Sheridan, of the Sterling District, said the board planned to vote on next year’s calendar at its Dec. 1 meeting.

On Wednesday, Prince William County’s school board voted unanimously to add diverse holidays to its school calendar.

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