Proposed School Calendar Changes Accommodate Jewish Holidays

January 6, 2001

Source: The Tampa Tribune

On January 6, 2001, The Tampa Tribune reported that Hillsborough County's proposed 2001-2002 school calendar "includes a day off in September coinciding with the Jewish Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur. The calendar also shows a spring break from March 25 to April 1, 2002, which would span both Easter and Passover." Jewish parents call the proposed changes to the calendar "a step in the right direction." Phyllis Rogoff, a Jewish parent who served on the district's calendar committee, said the changes are driven by "the desire 'to be as inclusive as possible.'" They imitate calendars in such counties as Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach. Joseph Trumbach, the district's director of administration, agreed, but said "the decision to push next year's spring break back a week later than this year's had much more to do with the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test than it did with religious observances." Yvonne Lyons, executive director of Hillsborough's Classroom Teachers Association, expressed the desire "'to get away from tying breaks to any religious holiday, especially one that moves around so much, like Easter, because that could put break in late April.' The tentative calendar for the 2002-2003 school retains the floating day in the fall and one in the spring, on Good Friday, and places spring break between the end of the third quarter and start of the fourth."