Starting in the 2023-24 school year, the Shakopee Public Schools calendar will have no school on Good Friday and one day of no school when Eid al-Fitr falls during weekdays.
The school board unanimously approved a proposal from Superintendent Mike Redmond to revise the calendar with these changes during its March 20 board meeting.
“This is an exciting night … this is a big development in our schools,” school board member Ibrahim Mohamed said ahead of the vote.
Redmond in the meeting said the reason for the proposed change was that Eid al-Fitr, an Islamic holiday, and Good Friday are akin to dates like Christmas Eve and the Friday after Thanksgiving, when high student and staff absences may compromise quality learning on those days.
Nearly 600 additional student absences were recorded on Eid al-Fitr during the 2021-22 school year, according to district data. More than 150 additional students were absent on Good Friday than the previous school day during the same school year.
“I think this is just another step in the right direction as to how our community has evolved over time. I was amazed when those numbers came out, the number of absences that we have on those days. To me, it made clear sense to make this change, so I absolutely support this,” Board Chair Kristi Peterson said.
The changes will be made effective in the 2023-24 school year, not affecting the current school year.
“This is something that is very important to students, and this is one of those things that I believe will allow students to feel more accepted,” said Danielle Dake, Shakopee High School student and ex-officio school board member.