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Religious Holidays & Accommodations

Each student has an individual right to free exercise of religion. The district and its schools have a responsibility to make reasonable accommodations for students’ religious observance. The district and its schools also have a responsibility to maintain religious neutrality, neither promoting one religion over another nor preferring religion over non-religion.

Board Policy JEF – Accommodation for Religious Instruction and Observance

Requests for Accommodation

Parents and students are encouraged to communicate their need for religious accommodation to the school. Requests for religious accommodation should be directed to the student’s teacher or principal.

Absences and Makeups

Students may be excused from school for absences due to religious reasons. Such absences will not be counted against a student in determining exclusion, failure or reduction of grades.

Any tests and assignments a student misses because of religious instruction or observances shall be given to the student at another time. Make-up opportunities will not be required of a student on the school day immediately after a student is absent from school to observe a religious holiday.

Release Time for Religious Instruction

Students may be released from school each week for religious instruction, consistent with Oregon law. A written request must be signed by the parent or guardian before the student is released. Students not attending religious instruction will continue with the regular school program.

Religious teachers are not permitted to promote student participation by directly contacting students on school premises, nor by involving students to recruit their friends who remain in the classroom. All promotional activities must be conducted away from the school premises.

Scheduling School Events 

Schools will avoid scheduling important events that by their nature cannot be made up, such as picture day, open house, or prom, on days that conflict with major religious holidays that may impact student attendance or participation.

When scheduling other special events such as field trips, tryouts and concerts, staff are to consider the potential for students to experience conflicts on major religious holidays. A field trip or a major co-curricular or extracurricular activity may only be scheduled on a major religious holiday with administrator approval.

Staff will inform students and parents of plans as far in advance as possible, so that conflicts with religious observances can be avoided if possible and accommodated if not.

Major Religious Holidays

Schools should avoid scheduling important events at times that conflict with the following major religious holidays:

  • Rosh Hashanah (Jewish) — sundown Sept. 6 through sundown Sept. 8, 2021
  • Yom Kippur (Jewish) — sundown Sept. 15 through sundown Sept. 16, 2021
  • Christmas Eve (Christian) — Dec. 24
  • Christmas Day (Christian) — Dec. 25
  • Pesach, First Days of Passover (Jewish) — evening of April 15 & 16, 2022
  • Easter (Christian) — April 17, 2022
  • Eid al-Fitr, End of Ramadan (Muslim) — sundown May 2 through May 3, 2022
  • Eid al-Adha (Muslim) — sundown July 9 through July 10, 2022

Additional Holidays 

Some other days to be aware of when scheduling special events, as some students may have religious, cultural or family observances, particularly in the evening, include:

  • Dusshera (Hindu) — Oct. 15, 2021
  • Diwali (Hindu) — Nov. 4, 2021
  • Birth of the Báb (Bahá’í) — Nov. 6, 2021
  • Birth of the Bahá’u’lláh (Bahá’í) — Nov. 7, 2021
  • Hanukkah (Jewish) — evenings, Nov. 28–Dec. 5, 2021
  • Guru Nanak Jayanti (Sikh) — Nov. 30, 2021
  • Lunar New Year (Asian cultural event) — Feb. 1, 2022
  • Ash Wednesday (Christian) — March 2, 2022
  • Naw-Rúz, (Bahá’í) — March 21, 2022
  • Ramanavami (Hindu) — April 10, 2022
  • Vaisakhi (Sikh) — April 14, 2022
  • Good Friday (Christian) — April 15, 2022
  • First Day of the Ridván Festival (Bahá’í) — April 21, 2022
  • Ninth Day of the Ridván Festival (Bahá’í) — April 29, 2022
  • Twelfth Day of the Ridván Festival (Bahá’í) — May 2, 2022
  • Declaration of the Báb (Bahá’í) — May 24, 2022
  • Ascension of Bahá’u’lláh (Bahá’í) — May 29, 2022

Additional information about religious holidays and accommodations is in Board Policy JEF – Accommodation for Religious Instruction and Observance.