Stoughton School Committee to Discuss Rosh Hashanah, 2014-15 Calendar

Officials will look at whether to offer one or two days off for the holiday in 2014.

Stoughton High School. Credit: File photo.
Stoughton High School. Credit: File photo.

The Stoughton School Committee will meet on Tuesday, Feb. 11 to discuss the 2014-2015 school calendar, specifically focusing on whether there will be one or two days off for Rosh Hashanah in September this year. 

Parents are encouraged to voice their opinions on the matter by emailing committee members; contact information can be found at stoughtonschools.org/Committee.

To read the full agenda, visit the Stoughton School Committee's website. Tuesday's meeting will begin at 7 p.m. and take place in the Stoughton High School TV Studio. 

Just Saying February 10, 2014 at 01:17 PM
They should not observe either Rosh Hashanah or Good Friday. They are not legal holidays, they are "holy days". If parents need to keep their children home for religious reasons, then that's what they should do.
JD February 10, 2014 at 04:38 PM
Although Just Saying makes a valid point, in order to separate church and state. Personally I feel that holidays should be preserved. It's a fact that for each day a student is absent, excused or not the student falls behind. Why should a student fall behind to celebrate a religious holiday when the school has always remained closed on that day? It's closed on Good Friday, Good Friday isn't being considered so why should the 2nd day of a major Jewish holiday be closed? If we're going to start opening on a religious holiday then you should consider opening a full day on December 24th and open on Good Friday. In the times we're living in, family values and religious holidays should be preserved and valued the same as education. If the committee chooses to open on the 2nd day then the same should go for Dec. 24th and Good Friday and no student absent on either day should be forced to make up missed work or take a test/quiz the following day (since they would not have had time to adequately prepare due to celebrating their holiday). I think the committee is sending the WRONG message by opening on a religious holiday. Possibly an alternative solution would be to remain closed and offer an Extra credit assignment to students to hand in on Monday (allowing all students to benefit and to increase their grade).
Dale F. Appel February 11, 2014 at 07:58 AM
They get multiple days for Christmas; why not both days of Rosh Hashana?
3369 February 11, 2014 at 11:21 AM
It is time for the committee and superintendent to get current. The school year starts too late, has too many days off and therefore ends too late. We should be getting a couple of days in before Labor Day. We should not be closing for Election Day, and there needs to be an alternative to closing for 2 staff days. All these days off don't even take into account for all of the snow days. Although I am not totally against closing for the 2nd day of Rosh Hashana (Newton does), it is time to have full days of school for Good Friday AND December 24th.
JD February 11, 2014 at 11:57 AM
Although I agree that it may SEEM as though there are too many days off, the fact is there are 180 days of school. It does not matter if it's 180 consecutive days or 180 non consecutive days (with vacation days, holidays, election days in between). The fact is there ARE 180 school days. Taking off 2 days for Rosh Hashanah or 1 day for election or 2 Staff development days DO NOT take away from the 180 school days. The 2 day Rosh Hashanah holiday should remain unless they are considering to wipe out Dec. 24th and Good Friday, which are currently not on the table for discussion. If you want to lengthen summer and still have 180 school days, ELIMINATE both February and April vacations and have 1 week of vacation in March. This would allow for 1 extra week of summer vacation and more importantly allow for mor consistency in the classroom.
3369 February 11, 2014 at 12:55 PM
Nicely put.
mom2qts February 11, 2014 at 04:40 PM
Just an FYI: Getting rid of Feb & Apr vacation and replacing it with one in March will only buy us 3 days of summer vacation. The reason being, we would then have Presidents Day in Feb and Patriots Day in April off. Which I think is a good start. As for starting before Labor day, it depends where Labor day falls in September. Teachers contracts (I believe) do not allow for starting before September 1. With our school schedules they way they are, I would like to have a discussion about removing some of the Holy Days. I would like to know what population size we are talking about being effected. For all I know, right now we are only talking about one child being Jewish or Christian. In which case, the days off should be removed. If we are talking about over half the school population, of course my opinion would change.
JD February 11, 2014 at 06:24 PM
If I were on the committee this is what I'd suggest: 1) Eliminate both February and March vacations and allow 1 week in March (which would allow for extra days in the summer and more classroom consistency) 2) Either open on ALL "Holy" days or close on ALL "Holy" days (do not provide homework or quizzes/tests on any "holy") 3) School day should be from 9am-4pm. This would benefit EVERYONE and school attendance and scores would likely greatly increase. Students would be awake. Parents would less likely have to pay for extended care, therefore families will have more money. Kids would be less bored and off the street "hanging around". 4) Implement Before school (8:00-8:45) extra help and After school extra help sessions (4:00-4:45) Kids would then go home, eat dinner or participate in sports activities or other after school activities. Opening 1 day of Rosh Hashanah WILL NOT HELP OR RESOLVE ANYTHING. THE ENTIRE EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM NEEDS TO BE IMPROVED. STUDENTS NEEDS MUST BE MET AND "ALL" TEACHERS NEED TO CARE ENOUGH TO WANT THE STUDENTS and not just think about their countless days off, sick days, personal days etc. Let's all open our minds to see the problem and try to fix the problem, opening on 1 holiday is not a fix.
ann Hopkins February 12, 2014 at 01:51 PM
We are not just talking about the kids when it comes to Jewish Holidays, there are also staff members across the board that would be taking off those days. Then the schools would be short staffed from every place including teacher aids, secretarial staff and lunch workers. Sometimes it is more of a logistical problem than it seems.
Just Saying February 12, 2014 at 05:17 PM
Somehow all federal/state/municipal offices are open, along with banks, post office, stores, restaurants, businesses, factories, colleges, universities, wall street, etc.... I do not believe it would cause a logistical catastrophe.
mom2qts February 13, 2014 at 08:37 PM
I agree, I don't think it would pose the same problem now as it may have years ago. I know the original reason for the Jewish holy days, had more to do with teachers than students. But again not knowing how many people we are talking about makes it hard to have an opinion one way or the other.
JD February 13, 2014 at 11:07 PM
I'm sorry but that is the most ridiculous comment - "the original reason for Jewish holidays had more to do with teachers than students..." Seriously?! So I suppose Catholic holidays have more to do with teachers than students too, right? Holidays have to do with EVERY student, child, adult, family who celebrate them!!! According to your ridiculous theory, if it has to do more with the teachers, then what about the teacher's children? I suppose their kids don't celebrate or observe the holiday, just their parents who are teachers. Remember that next time YOU celebrate Christmas or Easter, I suppose your children will have a play date or do something else that day since they won't be observing their own holiday. What a moron.
mom2qts February 14, 2014 at 08:53 PM
My apologies, I didn't mean that the way it came out. My mother had told me that years ago the reason the public school closed on the Holy Days was because most of the teachers observed these days and there was no way to get enough substitutes to cover for them. She had said that was main reason, second to that was the population of students that would have been absent. Now to respond to your ridiculous response, maybe we should have school on those days, maybe those could be spent teaching how to reply to people in respectful ways, instead of silly tirades calling people ridiculous & morons. Maybe we could ask for a clarification instead of assuming what is meant.


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