2021-22 School Calendar
Dear Members of the Brighton School Community,
I am very excited to be writing to you regarding the school calendar for 2021-22 and the important changes that are included. In addition to the calendar linked below this message, please note the presentation that was provided to our Board of Education prior to their adoption of the calendar earlier this week. Details regarding how the calendar is developed collaboratively, internally, and with the regional calendar committee were explained. We also discussed both the challenges and the objectives in calendar development.
Specifically, we were challenged by:
- A late Labor Day
- The timing of days we have traditionally had off (Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur)
- Scoring windows for Grades 3-8 testing that go into the second week of April
- A strong desire to have a more inclusive calendar
- The potential for leveraging the work done to develop remote instructional capability to continue instruction when being in the building is not possible (remote learning on snow days)
Our objectives were not limited to, but included:
- A strong desire to be more inclusive and allow for more members of our school community to be able to celebrate important holidays. We should honor all people and embrace the opportunity to learn more about and celebrate with more members of our school community.
- A desire to honor feedback received from students and community members regarding the messages communicated through our calendar relative to important social issues. Most notably, we are listing Columbus Day as observed, which it is as an established federal holiday, while also indicating a day for the recognition of Indigenous People. We are hopeful that listing both will elicit important conversations, discussion, and learning about the holiday itself, the impact of Columbus and the experience of Indigenous People, which we have started to discuss more meaningfully through land acknowledgments at Board meetings earlier this year.
To accomplish our objectives, we had to think differently about school days, particular holidays, and emergency closings. To that end, next year’s calendar does not include any additional days for emergency closing. Instruction would be delivered remotely on those days on a schedule to be developed. It would be our hope that it would look very similar to the current Wednesday schedule, although this can’t be finalized until state guidelines are provided. If the state decides not to allow this practice next year, we will have to revisit current calendar days that do not fall on holidays being recognized on the calendar, including the new holidays described below.
The calendar DOES include:
- A Superintendent’s Conference Day on the second day of Rosh Hashanah. Although this doesn’t impact families, we realize the messages that may be read into that decision. Please note that we will accommodate any and all staff members who will be observing on that day and it is not our intent in future years to make that a student attendance day. The reality is that we are significantly limited in options and that the first week of school would not be at all effective if delayed by the additional day.
- One day for the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr on May 3. We recognize that we may need to find a way to accommodate students at BHS who have an AP exam scheduled for that day. This holiday has been overlooked for many years and although out staff members have done their best to accommodate students, the reality is that many students and their families have long put this very important day behind studies and school attendance. We don’t expect that on Christmas, Good Friday or other religious holidays. We should honor and celebrate with our Muslim students, staff, friends, and neighbors just as we do for other holidays.
- One day for the observation of Juneteenth. This day will be recognized statewide for students and both for students and staff in our District. An important federal holiday that celebrates the emancipation order to free slaves, received in Texas on June 19, 1865, we are looking forward to observing this powerful and important moment in our history. This is an important step in educating, communicating, and being more thoughtful in our efforts to continue on a journey of equity and inclusivity.
Thank you for reading through this information and reflecting on what it means for our community. Most importantly, thank you for continuing to consider how we as a community can be more inclusive, thoughtful, and embracing of all cultures and traditions.
Best wishes and GO BRUINS.
Kevin McGowan, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools