9总探花

On March 19, 2024, the School Committee appointed a task force to make recommendations regarding the observance of religious and cultural holidays within the 9总探花 Academic Calendar. The task force includes a variety of stakeholders, including members of the School Committee, members of WPS faculty and staff, WPS parents, and Wellesley High School students, and is subject to the Open Meeting Law.

Background

The WPS Academic Calendar is voted annually by the School Committee, typically within the month of December. (Ref: ) Since the 1990s, the Committee has observed the following religious/cultural holidays as part of the WPS Academic Calendar: Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Good Friday. Christmas Day, a federal holiday, is not directly observed but falls within the typical December break. Juneteenth (June 19) became a federal holiday in 2021 and was added to the academic calendar beginning with the 2021-22 school year. In recent years, various members of the community have requested that additional days be observed in the calendar, including Lunar New Year, Eid al-Fitr, and Diwali.

In May 2023, the Committee voted , Accommodations for Religious and Cultural Observances, which provided specific guidance for WPS teachers and staff in working with students and families who are absent from school due to religious or cultural observances. In December 2023, the School Committee voted to add the following three holidays to the 2024-25 calendar: Lunar New Year, Eid al-Fitr, and Diwali. The Committee also committed to creating a task force to study the recognition of religious and cultural holidays and make long-term recommendations. A significant question is how the goal of improving a sense of belonging for all students should best inform the creation of the annual academic calendar.

Charge

In an increasingly diverse community in which WPS strives to ensure a shared sense of value and belonging among students, staff, and families, how should the district approach determining the academic calendar, particularly given the importance of religious and cultural holidays among its stakeholders? As part of its process of creating recommendations for the School Committee, the Task Force, composed of a cross-section of community stakeholders, will consider a range of factors associated with any changes to the WPS Calendar and their impact operationally and programmatically to the district as well as to its culture and climate. The Task Force will develop a report and recommendations for the School Committee’s consideration no later than November 2024.

Meeting Dates (click dates for materials from past meetings)

  • – Tolles Parsons Center Multi-Purpose Room ()
  • – Zoom ()
  • – Zoom ()
  • – Zoom ()
  • – Zoom ()
  • June 11, 2024 ()
  • September 12, 2024 – Zoom
  • September 26, 2024 – Zoom
  • October 10, 2024 – Zoom
  • October 24, 2024 – Location TBD

Questions, Feedback? Email the Task Force: calendartaskforce@wellesleyps.org 

Task Force Membership

WPS Academic Calendar Task Force

School Committee & Task Force Leadership:

  • Linda Chow, Chair
  • Niki Ofenloch, Vice Chair

WPS Parents/Caregivers:

  • Frantzsou Balthazar-Toussaint
  • Kerry Condon
  • Will Crissman
  • Leda Eizenberg (Task Force Secretary)
  • Xueting Jiang
  • Vahideh Nilforoshan
  • Jessica Simon
  • Monica Wojcik

WPS Leadership:

  • David Lussier, Superintendent of Schools
  • Sandra Trach, Assistant Superintendent, 9总探花
  • Kathleen Bernklow, Director of Student Services
  • Monica Visco, Director of Human Resources
  • Jorge Allen, Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
  • Sharon Gray, Coordinator for Community Engagement
  • Jordan Hoffman, Principal of Schofield Elementary
  • Mark Ito, Principal of Wellesley Middle School

WHS Students:

  • Alexandra Budson-McQuilken
  • Alyssia Landen
  • Reina Mercado
  • Stephanie Xia

WPS Staff:

  • Chelsea Bailow, Director of Professional Development
  • Dana Boucher, Special Education Teaching Assistant
  • Jackie Hoglund, Instructional Technology Specialist
  • Megan LeBlanc, Bates Elementary School Secretary