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- Religious Literacy
Kate Soules is a doctoral candidate in Curriculum and Instruction at Boston College. Her research focuses on teachers’ professional learning and development on religious literacy and religious liberty. She has taught students from the middle school level to the graduate school level.
- Identify the controversies surrounding religious holidays and public schools
- Evaluate arguments for and against the inclusion of religious holidays on the school calendar
- “Should Muslim Holidays be added to the NYC Public School Calendar?” by Interfaith Center of New York January 15, 2014
- At this event, two Muslim community leaders present arguments both for and against the addition of Islamic holidays to the NYC school calendar, which would close schools on those days.
- “30 Religious Holidays in 60 Seconds” by Interfaith Youth Core
- This short video runs through a year’s worth of religious holidays in 60 seconds. How many do you recognize? The hosts also discuss several reasons for learning more about what religious holidays are being celebrated in your community.
- Haynes, C. C., & Thomas, O. S. (2007). Finding Common Ground: A First Amendment Guide to Religion and Public Schools. Nashville, TN: First Amendment Center.
- Chapter 15: Sample School District Policies (pg. 171-224) - Skim the policies to find sections that discuss issues and guidelines related to religious holidays
- Recommended: Chapter 10: Religious Holidays in Public Schools (pg. 111-117) — This chapter focuses more on classroom issues but can provide additional context and guidance.
- “Common Religious and Public Holidays for the 2018-2019 School Year”, Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, State of Washington.
- “The List of Religious Holidays Permitting Student Absence from School” New Jersey State Board of Education.
- “Religious Holidays: 2018-2019 Academic Year” University of California, Berkeley.
- Recommended: Find your own school district’s policy. What does it have to say about holidays?
- Recommended: Comprehensive Interfaith Calendar for 2018 and Descriptions of Each Holiday
- With which argument regarding closing school for religious holidays do you most agree? Why?
- For what holidays does your district close? How were the decisions made? Does it correspond to the demographics of the school?
- In the absence of adopting policies regarding school closings, what other accommodations can teachers make for observant students?