Good News for Kids: Rosh Hashanah Cuts First Week Back in September Down to Just One Day


school-busThe following report by Meredith Kolodner appears in today’s NY Daily News:

This is math kids will love and parents may hate: The first week of school in September in NYC will last only one day. The city’s public school students are scheduled to start Wednesday, Sept. 8 – and then have Thursday and Friday off for the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah.

“It just makes no sense,” said Nick Comaianni, president of the parents council in southeastern Queens. “For the one day? Just let it go, leave it alone and start it the next week.”

The start-and-stop calendar is in part a result of a change last year that allowed teachers to wait until after Labor Day weekend to start the school year.

Principals protested and persuaded the Education Department to give them the Tuesday after Labor Day to meet with teachers and prepare classrooms.

This year, the Jewish New Year falls on the Thursday and Friday of that same week.

“This schedule allows for teachers to have their preparation day and gives students a day to settle in before breaking for the holiday,” said Education Department spokeswoman Ann Forte.

“By Monday, teachers will be ready to teach and students will be ready to learn.”

Some parents said it’s a recipe for scheduling chaos.

“It’s just ridiculous,” said Tamara Bota, president of the district school PTAs in Williamsburg and Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

“It’s going to make it harder to make arrangements. Most of our parents work.”

{NY Daily News/ Newscenter}