With snow days likely to be used and requests for religious holidays off, the Sharon School Committee is set to look at if the school calendar needs to be refreshed or if any traditional holidays should be removed or added from the calendar.
According to Superintendent Timothy Farmer, the issue was brought up by a population in the community that was looking for recognition of the Chinese New Year.
As part of Farmer’s presentation at a recent school committee meeting, it was suggested that the committee look at what days can and should be listed as a school holiday in the 2015-16 school calendar. Any changes will not affect the 2014-15 calendar which is already set.
“I think there are some questions to be asked in your calendar. Are your traditional school days we’ve taken off in the past like the Friday before Labor Day, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, the Friday after Thanksgiving, the day prior to the 25th of December, are those all days you want to take off as no school days?” Farmer asked.
In addition to taking days away, the committee may also look at if there are any days for holidays and major religious observations that should merit a day off from school.
Farmer was also said to be aware of extending the calendar into late June and the likely use of snow days at the end of the school year.
“Teaching and learning happens but once you're into that third week of June, that last week of June, it’s not the same. We still do our best but it’s not the same,” Farmer said.
Vice-chair Veronica Wiseman said she thought surveying the community might be a good idea before making any decisions concerning the calendar.
“One of my questions would be how common is it for communities like Sharon to identify these holidays? What is the criteria for tipping over into realizing that percentage wise this community really needs to do this?” Wiseman said.
Farmer also added that the committee could allow students to take days off for the observance of holidays that the whole school district may not need to take off. Those absences would not count against the students.
The committee will have a discussion on the issue during their Jan. 8 meeting.