Austin ISD to add Eid al-Fitr holiday to 2023-24 school year, plus other proposed changes
Austin ISD is set to add an extra holiday to the calendar for the 2023-2024 school year if the board of trustees approves the plan at its next meeting.
If approved, the additional holiday would be in recognition of Eid al-Fitr, a worldwide holiday celebrated by Muslims that marks the end of a monthlong Ramadan fast from dawn to sunset. The holiday would be celebrated as a staff and student development celebration on Wednesday, April 10, 2024.
Other changes expected to be made to the calendar include:
changing the parent conference evening of September 27-28 to a combined elementary parent conference day/secondary professional development day/student break on Monday, September 25. It will also be in recognition of Yom Kippur, said Jacob Reach, chief government relations and board services officer for AISD. Yom Kippur is a holy day in Judaism and focuses on atonement, fasting and repentance; removal of October 6, early release day; moving Friday, October 13, staff development/student celebration to Monday, October 9, in recognition of Indigenous Peoples Day; moving Tuesday, November 7, staff development/student holiday to Monday, November 13, 2023, in recognition of Diwali, a religious holiday in Indian religions; changing the February 14-15, 2024, parent conference evening to a combined elementary parent conference day/secondary professional development day/student holiday on Friday, February 9, 2024; and removing February 16, 2024, the day of early release. Reach said there are no proposed changes to school start and end days or winter break.
“These calendar changes preserve the required number of instructional minutes for students and the required number of duty days for teachers, which is 180,” Reach said.
The changes will now provide 84 instructional days in the fall and 89 instructional days in the spring, for a total of 173 instructional days. In previous years there were 82.5 school days in the fall and 91 school days in the spring. Reach said the proposed changes would add an extra professional day ahead of previous years.
The state requirement for instructional minutes per school year is 75,600, Reach said, and these changes would result in 76,900 instructional minutes for district schools and 75,670 for high schools.
Other important holidays that are non-negotiable, Reach said, include the Voting Culture Board Policy on Nov. 8; Martin Luther King Jr. Day on January 16; Memorial Day on May 29; Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta Day on March 31; one week for Thanksgiving break; two weeks for winter break; and the historic spring break alignment with the University of Texas.
Trustees are expected to vote on these changes at their Jan. 26 meeting, which begins at 5:30 p.m. in the Administration Building, 4000 S. I-35 Frontage Road, Austin.