Religious Holidays

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by onestepcloser, Sep 11, 2010.

  1. onestepcloser

    onestepcloser Companion

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    Sep 11, 2010

    Another question about absences, this time about valid absences on religious holidays.

    Say you have students who are absent due to religious holidays. As per protocol where I work, I can't give them work to take home on their religious holiday. But I still have to work with the students who are there, especially if a good chunk of the class is there (only a few are away due to the religious holiday). When students come back from their absence, is it okay to give them work that was covered on the holiday that they now have to catch up on, or do you think that's not appropriate if they were away for a religious holiday?

    What if you have a particular class where the majority are away for the holiday? What do you do on that day?

    I'm a new teacher, so I'm still getting the hang of these things. As someone who works at a diverse school, I'd appreciate your insight!
     
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  3. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    Sep 11, 2010

    Anyone out on a holiday has an "excused" absence and has 2 days from the time they return to make up any missed work. They are definitely still responsible for the missed work.

    On the off chance that the majority of my class is out, I modify my plans and do something the rest of the class won't need to make up. Like show a video that relates to what we're doing, or since I'm a Foods teacher I could do an extra food lab, or play a review game to get ready for an upcoming test. Just something that's still curriculum related, but it won't really matter if all the absent people miss as far as needing to make it up. We had this happen when something like 65% of our students were absent the day of the World Series win parade for the Philly's two years ago. Man was out building feeling empty that day!
     
  4. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Sep 11, 2010

    My kids are Catholic kids in a public school. In NY, they have the major religious holidays off. But here's my spin on it anyway.

    I think religious holiday absences should be treated like illness absences.

    If a kid misses a day because he had a stomach bug, I don't expect him to come to class with the notes all made up, ready for a quiz on the material he missed. He has a few days to make it up.

    But it's not as though he'll NEVER have to learn to factor, simply because I taught it while he wasn't in class. At SOME point, he's responsible for the material he missed.
     
  5. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Sep 11, 2010

    I agree with MsMar. It is an excused absence and will be treated as such. Students will make up missed work. I want them to enjoy their holidays as much as I do mine, but not at the expense of a lower grade or tons of more work for me. Only graded assignments need to be made up in my classroom. Things that we do for reinforcement should be done but I won't sweat it if they don't.
     
  6. onestepcloser

    onestepcloser Companion

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    Sep 11, 2010

    Thanks MsMar, Aliceacc and NCScienceTeach.

    That's how I wanted to treat religious holidays, as an excused absence. But as Aliceacc said, they still have to learn the concepts taught.

    In my English class on Friday, most students were there so we did move forward. I am just nervous that students who were absent won't do the reading I handed out on Friday/covered on Friday on their own time (as in won't bother to catch up on their own).

    Another question I have is in 2 of my other classes we did a small in-class activity. It was really just meant as a fun reflective activity on what we have been doing and I won't grade it. I know students will talk and if I don't give the students who were away the same assignment there may be chaos... LOL. The thing is, I considered it what NCScienceTeach mentioned - something done for reinforcement. Any advice on that part? Thanks so much!
     
  7. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Sep 11, 2010

    I wouldn't be bothered if they talk. Students shouldn't expect a grade on everything they do anyhow.

    I also wouldn't be nervous about students not making up their work. I would remind each class, either verbally or by posting it on the board, that students are expected to get any missed work on their own. If they choose not to then their grades will reflect their choice.

    Part of my responsibility is to prepare my students for the end of course exam. Part of it is to prepare them for life after high school. Better to learn that you can't shrug off your responsibilities when you're a teen than when you're in the workplace.
     
  8. orangepurple

    orangepurple Companion

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    Sep 11, 2010

    If you know a lot of students will be out for the same holiday, try to plan something that is easy for the students to make up later, and don't schedule something that will be hard for you to deal with. I agree with Alice that it should be treated like absence for illness--their responsibility to make up work, reasonable amount of time, etc.
    My difficulty is more with the number of students who go away for extended periods. We get lots of requests from the office to "provide work for a student by noon tomorrow--he will be out for three weeks and you need to come to the office to sign the independent study plan." I still do not have an efficient way of dealing with this!
     
  9. dovian

    dovian Comrade

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    Sep 12, 2010

    Most of the time my students will tell me ahead of time that they will be out for a religious holiday. I don't see a problem with telling them what you will be covering IF they ask - you're not telling them they have to do it on their holiday, you're just letting them know what you'll be doing. If they don't then I'd just give them a printout with what they missed when they get back. And if they choose NOT to do whatever it was, that's their problem, not yours.
     
  10. ismith

    ismith New Member

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    Sep 20, 2010

    Personally, I think that students should be able to make up work they missed because of religious holidays. This just says to me that this student is very serious about something they believe in, and that is my main purpose in joining this field. Make a difference in a young person's life.
     
  11. onestepcloser

    onestepcloser Companion

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    Sep 21, 2010

    Oh yes, when I was asking if it were appropriate to have them make up work, I meant should they have to if they were out for a religious holiday, not should I not allow them make it up. I would never penalize a student for being off on a religious holiday (and if I did I would definitely be grieved and found wrong). To me, religious holiday = excused absence as others have said.
     

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