CMS teacher concerned about religious observances not listed as holiday on proposed 2022-23 calendar

Published: Jul. 1, 2021 at 10:16 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is asking for opinions on their calendar options for the 2022-2023 school year.

The calendar committee presented the two options at June’s board meeting; the differences include dates for winter break, different workdays, spring break dates, and the dates for the end of the first semester.

CMS history teacher Kevin Gobuty says there’s one major difference in the calendar options - one doesn’t give students and staff the holiday off for Yom Kippur.

Yom Kippur is Oct. 5, 2022 and Rosh Hashanah is observed on Sept. 26-27, 2022.

Calendar Option A gives students and staff the day off for Yom Kippur, but Option B lists it as a workday.

“Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are the two holiest holidays in the Jewish faith. It’s really important for a lot of Jewish people, I can’t speak for all, but for a lot of Jewish people. [They] should be in synagogues praying, or doing something similar,” Gobuty said.

Gobuty says people should consider Calendar option A which does give students and staff the day off for Yom Kippur, versus Option B, in which it’s a workday.

The district says it has a rule that students can be excused from school, and school-related activities for religious reasons and that exams won’t be scheduled on religious holidays.

Gobuty says he understands that but is still hoping the calendar chosen makes it an easy choice and that neither calendar option being voted on has holidays during Rosh Hashanah. He hopes the calendar committee takes time to reconsider and urges the public to vote for the option that observes the religious holiday.

“I really think of CMS as a place that again prioritizes equity and education and I think that when we look at the calendar we look at Easter and Christmas and everything around the calendar seems to be built around Easter and Christmas but when you look at some of the most important Jewish holidays on the calendar, it’s almost an afterthought,” Gobuty said.

The survey closes Sunday, July, 4 at 11:59 p.m. Once the survey closes, the superintendent will review the data and present one calendar option to the board for a vote later this month.

Click here to read the calendar development process.

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