About the AAPS Religious Calendar


The Ann Arbor Public School District has made a commitment to celebrate and honor the rich cultural diversity of our students and our community. As the District strives to meet the academic and affective needs of all students, we also strive to reflect the contributions and interests of diverse cultural, religious and social groups in our mission and operation.

For many students in our schools, the observance of religious and cultural traditions is an important part of their personal, family, and community life. These traditions help the students understand and preserve their own value systems, cultures, customs and history. We in the district will assemble and disseminate information about the customs related to diverse religious and cultural groups, so that we can show respect for their integrity and at the same time provide a school and classroom climate in which staff feel confident that they have the opportunity to be optimally effective.

The annual calendar includes the following:

    * Name of religious observance
    * Religious or cultural group affiliation
    * Dates of observance
    * Relative level of significance of observance within religion (indicated by asterisks which are defined in guidelines)

The guidelines that follow are for use by staff in planning and scheduling of classroom, school building, and district-wide activities.

RELIGIOUS HOLIDAYS GUIDELINES
I. Holiday observances of major significance to a religious group are indicated on the calendar by three stars (***). The following apply:

School district employees may not schedule any of the following during these (three star) holidays.

   1. Major exams
   2. Reviews for major exams
   3. Standardized tests
   4. Tryouts; for example, teams, plays
   5. One-time or major events (proms, graduation ceremonies, homecoming, elections, test simulations, etc.)
   6. School district employees shall schedule interscholastic athletic games in a manner that minimizes conflict with holidays designated as three star. Scheduling of an athletic event on a three star holiday must be reviewed by the Superintendent or designee. Board members will be notified well in advance when there is a conflict.
   7. Interscholastic athletic practices are allowed

School district employees may arrange for students to participate in one-time or major events on three star holidays if the scheduling of these events is not controlled by our employees. Scheduling of such events must be approved by the building principal and the Superintendent or designee.

Teachers should be sensitive to the scheduling of quizzes longer than ten minutes on holidays designated by three stars (***).

Students will probably be with their families or at a place of worship in observance of these holidays. They will not be in school and/or not have time available to do the required homework. Absence to observe these holidays should be excused, and make-up privileges should be the same as the make-up privileges offered to a student who has an excused absence due to illness.

II. Other significant religious observances are indicated by two stars (**). The following applies:

Students might observe this holiday by spending time with their family and/or at a place of worship. They might not be in school and/or not have time available to do required homework. Such an absence should be excused. Make-up privileges should be the same as those offered for an absence due to illness.

III. Other holidays are indicated by one star (*) and no restrictions apply.

Classification of the significance of a holiday's observance is based on recommendations from representatives of the religious group. A balance between the formal religious standard and the actual contemporary observance of the holiday has been the intended aim of these recommendations.

We are a diverse community reflecting many traditions and perspectives. If each of us is sensitive to both the direct and subtle ways we demonstrate respect and appreciation for these differences, we will each be a positive force in providing a multi-cultural education for our students.