This year, across Northern Virginia, school calendar changes both positive and negative  have been put in place with respect to Jewish and other minority-faith holidays. We are delighted that for the first time Arlington and Prince William County Schools were closed for the first day of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, and Eid and Diwali. Loudoun county public schools were closed on Yom Kippur and will also be closed on Eid and Diwali.

In Fairfax County, the School Board rejected an inclusive calendar that would have included closures on first day of Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Eid, and Diwali, opting instead for designated “O” days on which there should not be exams or other significant events scheduled. This new calendar is clearly sowing further confusion without providing the equity we have long sought, based on initial feedback from students, parents, and teachers.

The JCRC is committed to continuing its advocacy to secure a school calendar that is truly inclusive for all. We need your help to keep the spotlight on this issue.