Administration announces days off for Eid, Yom Kippur

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Photo Illustration: Boraan Abdulkarim

St. Paul Academy and Summit School recently announced school holidays for Eid al Adha and Rosh Hashannah

Boraan Abdulkarim, Editor-in-Chief

And it’s important…to honor our community and recognize those days.”

— Chris Hughes, Upper School principal

St. Paul Academy and Summit School administration recently announced that classes will not be held on both Eid al Adha and Yom Kippur in the upcoming school year. The dates in question,  Sept. 12 and Oct. 12 respectively,  have already been marked in the SPA 2016-2017 calendar accordingly. To make up for the time off from school, the first day of school will be Aug. 29 instead of Aug.30 and classes will be in session on Oct. 20. The latter of these two had traditionally been a four day weekend.

“I know there are a lot of seniors, often, that use that [long] weekend to go visit schools. The trade-off is, instead of one four day weekend, at least potentially, students have two three day weekends in the fall.We tried a lot of different combinations. One of the things we looked at [was] adding a day at the end of the semester; that didn’t feel like a particularly valuable day  to add in,” Upper School Principal Chris Hughes said.

This incorporation, while significant to any student or faculty member, especially impacts two populations: students who observe these holidays and teachers who accommodate excused absences and plan classes accordingly.

“[Traditionally,] when you end up with combinations, whether it’s Eid, Rosh Hashannah or Yom Kippur in close conjunction with each other, teachers end up in a place where they can’t give any assessments for two weeks and then it all stacks up after that. This year, we really reached a point where that’s probably asking too much of the teachers and of the students to try to negotiate all of that. And it’s important…to honor our community and recognize those days,” Hughes said.

“I think it was an important step. Although we’ve tried to take care of the members of our community in different ways, to do this in a way that’s more visible hopefully feels good tot he students who are most directly impacted by this. The overwhelming response from the parents, whether they’re directly impacted or not by the holidays, has been positive.”