School calendar 2014-15

No, I’m not sick of the kids’ summer break yet. But I do like to plan ahead. So as I look the school calendar for the coming year, I’m sharing it with you.

An initiative that could have delayed school to after Labor Day was unsuccessful. So schools will be back in session in Southborough on August 28th. 

Earlier this year, three religious holidays had been up for debate: Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur and Good Friday. Superintendent Charles Gobron headed a calendar committee to brainstorm improvements.  Their recommendation was to hold school on those days. The religious holidays would have been optional with accommodation for religious observance.

Several residents and some school committee members deemed the change unfair. Complaints focused on asking students to choose between school and religion. In the end, the Southborough, Northborough, and Regional school committees all sided against the change.

The official calendar for the year has been released. (Click below to for full size version with listed holidays.)

The new calendar does reflect one recommended change. This year, there will be one less professional development day after school starts. Two of the four days will now be held before students return.

No word yet on half days at specific Southborough schools this year.

The last day of school could be as early as June 16th or once again run to June 23rd.

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sl
8 years ago

Just to point it out concretely: The new calendar has school start on Thursday instead of Wednesday. The professional development day that is gone is the Tuesday after MLK Day in January.

Kate
8 years ago

I must say that I am quite disappointed that religious holidays are not being nixed. Caving to pressure from representatives of a couple of different faiths is something that just seems flat out wrong to me. I really don’t see why choosing between religion and school is a big deal – other religions are forced to do it. Just my opinion, of course.

SB Resident
8 years ago
Reply to  Kate

Agreed. It seemed pretty obvious that there was a clear majority in favor of removing the holidays. The stated reason isn’t even a good one, we have to choose between important things all the time in life, like going to work or staying home on a holiday, seems like a good thing to ‘teach’ our kids how to handle. Sadly I fear that this is another case where it is simply easier to just pacify a vocal minority.

Lucy
8 years ago
Reply to  SB Resident

Very disappointed… the majority’s voice was ignored once again. Why do most of the kids have to stay out of school for a religious holiday that has nothing to do with them? Can this be something voted by the entire community?

Kate
8 years ago
Reply to  Lucy

Lucy; the dropping of these religious holidays was proposed by a calendar committee. At a meeting, parents and representatives of the Christian and Jewish communities were very vocal in their opposition to any change, and in the end it was decided to leave the holidays for next year.

However, reading through newspaper articles, Dr. Gobron did mention that the issue will be revisited – he speculated that it is possible that families from other cultures will seek days off also. These particular holidays have only been in place since the 70’s, after all, and the increasingly diverse nature of our school population may prompt a change.

Southborough Parent
8 years ago

A vote was never taken among town members. So there is no way for you, SB Resident, to say, “there was a clear majority in favor of removing the holidays.” The elected members of the School Committee voted and felt it was important to keep the holidays as such. So, this is not a case of “pacifying a vocal minority.” In fact, it was an issue brought through the proper lines of communication to the people within our community who make these decisions. So, the clear majority you mentioned actually was in favor of keeping the holidays.

Kate
8 years ago

Well, yes, I’d imagine that the religions which are ignored in the school calendar are those practiced by a minority of students. And let’s not forget the atheists and agnostics! Our school community claims to respect and cherish diversity, which is why it seems (to me) a little odd that we continue to cancel school for select religious holidays.

SB Resident
8 years ago

It’s funny how the vocal minority never realizes that that’s what they are. The reality is that it is just plain selfish that the (according to the internet) less than 5% request that the other 95% bend to their desire. It was a bad decision by the school board plain and simple, but no decision is the easy decision when the right decision is going to offend a few.

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