Interfaith community pushes Fairfax County Schools to include religious holidays in their calendar


FAIRFAX, Va. (WDVM) — Interfaith community members are disappointed in Fairfax County Public schools not having religious holidays in their school calendar.

Version A and Version B are what Fairfax County Public schools have discussed, with plans to implement four religious holidays. The board discussed the change last June, but still hasn’t voted.

“Both of the drafts included closures on the days that coincide with Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Eid, and Diwali, and without any notice, the board included a third option that does not include those days off,” said Franklin-Siegel.

The frustration doesn’t end there. When the pandemic hit the board of education postponed their vote. One FCPS parent said although the focus is getting students back in the classrooms, this should also be important. A letter was also sent to the board and minority religion leaders at FCPS.

“I am disappointed they didn’t pass the calendar when it was proposed last year, and we had a interfaith dialogue and a interfaith committee set up to look at this and to ensure we were accurately representing the diversity that Fairfax county has and is growing,” parent Marcy Schwab said.

A statement from FCPS says “This pandemic has been a serious challenge for the entire FCPS community and all of Fairfax county since last March. There are many critical issues, the debate over the FCPS school year 21-22 calendar is clearly one of those.”

“My sense is that they want to do it, they just can’t figure out, and I think they need to be creative and thoughtful and they will come up with a way. but that takes effort” said Schwab.

The board will have a public hearing March 4 and plan to vote March 18.

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