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Religious Issues and Holiday Practices

Instructional Guidelines

Because of the diversity of religious beliefs represented in the school community, the following instructional guidelines apply:

  1. The concepts of joy, giving, camaraderie, understanding, and sharing should not be negated for any child by holiday practice.
  2. Instructional materials used should neither advance nor inhibit a particular religious belief.
  3. Holiday activities are permissible, but should have a strong instructional/curriculum tie and should not be drawn out over excessive periods of time.
  4. Schools’ staff should meet and formulate school guidelines about holiday practices consistent with this instructional procedural directive. As school staff formulate these guidelines, they work through their Instructional Council.
  5. Classrooms/schools should be "religion neutral" (neither promoting nor inhibiting religious beliefs).
  6. Religious symbols of any denomination should be used only when teaching about religious beliefs and only for brief periods of time during the course of instruction.
  7. When a symbol has both a cultural and religious significance, it should be considered a religious symbol and be dealt with according to this instructional procedural directive.
  8. Student initiated inquiry and/or activities related to religious issues and ceremonies should be accommodated, but only in the context of the above guidelines.

Administrative Position: 

  • Chief of Schools
  • Associate Superintendents for Leadership and Learning

 Department Directors:      School Principals 

Cross Ref.:

Board Policy Cross Ref.:

 NSBA/NEPN Classification: IMDC

Revised: May 1995
Revised: April 1996
Revised: May 1997
Reviewed: January 5, 2023
Revised:  January 20, 2023