What Holidays Do Schools Recognize?

When parents begin to compare holidays that observed between school districts, they often recognize that there is a great deal of consistency. This makes you question how school district determine which holidays are important to them and which are not. First off, all schools are federally mandated to observe all federal and state holidays. Originally federally we observed four holidays: New Year's, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. As we reached the late nineteenth century, more holidays were added to the list federally. Officially there are ten federal holidays. State holidays differ widely based on the population and history of the state.

The religions practiced by a certain local population are often observed by their school districts. This makes a great deal of sense because students would miss school in high numbers. This happens to be a problem that many courts had to struggle with in the late 1970s. School districts are now forced to maintain a good understanding of their clientele, at least if they hope to keep their federal funding pouring in. I live in a very diverse area of the country. I'm about thirty- miles outside of New York City. My children’s school district observes all Jewish, Christian, and Islamic holidays. I work forty-miles North of where I live. This is a much less diverse region of New York State. The school district where I teach only observes Christian holidays and federal holidays.

Many students don't truly understand why many different dates are observed or celebrated. Including the study of holidays in your classroom will broaden your students understanding of relevant events in their lives.









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